From ox carts to streetcars, to modern day modes of transportation, this bustling area has never lost its charm and appeal. Throughout its evolution, this village neighborhood has remained focused on charm and flavor, consistently striving to provide diversity, culture and class that only a community that cares about its visitors can provide.
Now the heart of Five Points buzzes daily with foot traffic as business professionals enjoy an open air lunch, artists paint scenes and sell their wares in unique galleries, young and old shop for the perfect outfit or special gift. All the while traffic continues to carry residents in and out of the city village to the University of South Carolina, downtown business district and to homes in the six surrounding neighborhoods.
Where Five Points currently exists was once a large wetland area that Rocky Branch creek flowed through. To create the Five Points district, the City of Columbia diverted the stream’s flow underground in 1915. Because Five Points has been a shopping and commercial district for 100 years now, many locally owned businesses are proudly serving their third generation of loyal customers.
The Five Points Association
To Serve and Promote!
The Five Points Association is a non-profit organization whose principle task is ensuring that Five Points stays an integral and important part of the city of Columbia. The Association has accomplished and endured many major infrastructure, development and beautification projects over the years. Some of these projects include: the construction of two signature fountains, a monumental street-scaping project executed by the City of Columbia, a village-wide beautification project and the creation of a master plan, design guidelines and a new zoning overlay. In keeping with beautification, each year the organization retains an outside contractor to keep Five Points a beautiful and clean landmark within the city.
Not only is the Five Points Association concerned with the aesthetics of Five Points, but also the merchants, the patrons, and the residents. On average, the Five Points Association boasts more than 100 members each year. Merchants in the area stay involved in the annual events and charity functions as well as contribute to an overall sense of unification and comeradery.
The Five Points Association hosts annual events that continue to grow with each year and entertain thousands of people within the city of Columbia as well as the state of South Carolina. From over 30 years of St. Pat’s in Five Points to the Five After Five concerts, the calendar year is full of great opportunities for patrons to enjoy Columbia’s favorite village!
The Five Points Association employs a full-time Clean & Safe Program, which keeps Five Points clean from trash and debris 7-days a week, and helps address aggressive panhandling issues and patron safety. The Clean & Safe Team's security officers work closely with the Columbia Police Department to ensure that Five Points remains safe day and night.
Beautiful Village Landmarks
HARDEN STREET FOUNTAIN
Built by the Five Points Association in 1997, this important landmark provides a beautiful and iconic resting place for Five Points' locals and visitors. The fountain has become synonymous with Five Points and is often used to represent the area in photographs and images. Local politicians have been known to use the fountain for their promotional pieces. The fountain also provides a great background for media promotions.
SALUDA AVENUE FOUNTAIN
Tens years after the iconic Harden Street fountain was built, the Five Points Association built the Saluda Avenue fountain with proceeds from the annual St. Pat's in Five Points festival. The construction of these fountains supports the Five Points Association's mission of creating and supporting a beautiful, inviting public space for all visitors.
FIVE POINTS CENTENNIAL PLAZA
The completion of the Centennial Plaza culminates efforts of Five Points’ Centennial Year in 2015, and will perpetuate the rich history of the village neighborhood as the third water feature to be built in its footprint. The Centennial Plaza will include a 6’ rotating granite kugel, the largest in the state of South Carolina. The kugel rotates by floating over water in a spherical pocket, and can be safely interacted with.
Some of Columbia's Most Unique Public Art
TRIBUTE TO COL. JACK VAN LOAN
Included in the newly constructed Five Points Centennial Plaza is a bronze statue of Col. Jack Van Loan, US Air Force Retired. Col. Van Loan was a pilot during the conflict in Vietnam, and a POW for nearly six years in North Vietnam. Since his return to Columbia, S.C. in the 1980’s, he has been a valuable and cherished member of the Five Points community.
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH MONUMENT
Built in 2010 by the Five Points Association, Time Warner Cable, and the City of Columbia, this contemporary art piece represents the impact that Hootie & the Blowfish has had on the Five Points neighborhood as well as the City of Columbia. The band's humble start in the bars and nighclubs of Five Points was honored in October of 2010 with the unveiling of the monument following an honorary street renaming.
LOGAN THE LEPRECHAUN
Five Points is well known for it's annual St. Patrick's Day celebration, as it brings 40,000 local friends and travelers from far and wide to revel in the streets of the village neighborhood and celebrate all things green and Gaelic. In 2007, as part of an Art for Public Spaces grant from the Columbia Development Corporation, six bronze leprechauns or "Logans" (the festival's mascot), were hidden all around Five Points to continue to bring good luck and prosperity.
This mural came about as a reaction to the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Ralph Waldrop, a local artist with strong ties to the Five Points community came up with the idea to paint an American flag on the side of Yesterday's Restaruant and Tavern, gathered a group of Vietnam Vets to the painting.
GROUP THERAPY'S BRONZE DOORSTEP
For over 30 years, Group Therapy has been a local staple of Five Points' nightlife scene. Anyone who has passed through the Greene Street entrance has seen the bronze doorstep wieh the bar's name oozing out onto the sidewalk. Danny Berry and Beth Lind, part of a group of artists in Columbia who referred to themselves as "the collective," signed the bronze piece upon it's completion.
FIVE POINTS THEATER MARQUEE
When it opened on Harden Street in 1939, the Five Points Theatre was modern and very popular. Much smaller than the large movie houses on Columbia's Main Street, the theater was to serve only the people in the well-to-do neighborhoods nearby. A woman named "Miss Ruth" would put on a show for 30 minutes prior to the movie starting - she would tell stories and direct skits with the help of a small cast. Admission was only 9 cents. For a period in the 1950's, the teater screened foreign films in a series called The Columbia Finer Films Committee. The theater remained open until the 1960's, but it's small size soon made it unappealing compared with larger theaters. In 2000, the building's signature neon marquee was restored.
THE MAN IN THE TUB
While living in Dallas, Texas, two of the owners of Yesterday's Restaurant and Tavern worked together at the Dallas Hilton Inn and regularly served Bob Hope his preferred drink, the "Blue Nun" with a tub full of ice to accompany the drink. In addition, there was a bar and restaurant in Dallas called the Montana Mining Company that used a miner in a sitz bath as the greeter when you entered the building. One night many years ago, the owners combined these stories into what would become Yesterday's infamous logo that would spawn the Man in the Tub. Out of fear of catching too much grief from the public, they moved the Man up on top of the building, and he has been there ever since!
This mural is located on an exterior wall of Harper's Restaurant in Five Points. It encompasses the entire wall and illustrates Five Points circa 1948, from a vantage point halfway up the Devine Street hill. This prominent Blue Sky mural was dedicated to a family member of his, an inventor and photographer who taught Sky how to draw at the age of six.
NATURAL VIBRATIONS MURAL
Natural Vibrations, a.k.a. "Natty Vibes" has been a staple in Five Points for 20 years. You can't miss this storefront, complete with a wooden A-frame out front and an impressive mural around the corner that extends from the ground into the sky. If you look at it hard enough, you'll think you're in the mountains.
ART AT EL BURRITO
Another coveted public art piece by Ernest Lee, The Chicken Man. Find it on the blue wall next to El Burrito.
It's Been A Busy 2015-2016
Clean & Safe Efforts:
Continued the execution of an efficient Clean & Safe Program to keep Five Points clean from trash and debris 7-days a week, and to help address aggressive panhandling issues and patron safety
Continued efforts to create a safer environment in Five Points by maintaining our neighborhood-wide camera system
Worked alongside Statewide Security Systems to identify areas lacking in surveillance coverage and securing live monitoring of security cameras in these areas during peak times
Made upgrades to the Clean & Safe program’s golf cart to increase its visibility, efficiency, and effectiveness
Partnered with USC and the City of Columbia to execute the continuation of the Night Transportation Corridor to Five Points
New & Annual Events:
(January) - 34th Annual St. Pat’s in Five Points Line-Up Announcement Party
(February) - Travels with Darley Viewing Party
(March) - The Fountain Division of W.P. Law’s Official Kick-Off to St. Pat’s in Five Points
(March) - 34th Annual St. Pat’s in Five Points and donated $54,000 to local charities and non-profits
(April – October) - 18th season of Five After Five (4th Thursday of each month)
(August) - Summer Sidewalk Sale
(August) - 8th Annual Barstool Classic
(September) - Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Five Points Centennial Plaza
(October) - JerryFest
(October) - Trick-Or-Treating in Five Points
(November) - 29th Annual Chili Cook-Off
(November) - Unveiling Ceremony for Five Points Centennial Plaza, ft. a tribute to Col. Jack Van Loan
(November) - Small Business Saturday
(December) - A Starry Night
Marketing & Promotions:
Staff executed presentations to various non-profits and civic groups across the Midlands, including the Free Times “Summer in the City Series”, Columbia Rotary Club, West Metro Rotary Club, Five Points Rotary Club, Vista Rotary Club, Finlay House, Kiwanis Club, USC Journalism School, and more
Staff participated in the City of Columbia’s “Together We Can Read” initiative for the second year
Partnered with the American Heart Association to “Paint the Town Red” as a part of National Wear Red Day, to raise awareness for women’s heart disease
Co-Hosted “Women in Fitness” event with new merchants Fit Columbia & The Swept Yard
Continued partnership with local non-profit, Palmetto Luna Arts, to bring the Day of the Dead Celebration to the Five Points fountain
Participated in “Make Music Day” with OneColumbia
Gained state and regional attention for the neighborhood with NPR radio interview, concentrating on Centennial Celebration efforts
Hired contractual part time social media coordinator
Continued to promote neighborhood-wide hashtags
Educated merchants on social media platforms and applications to enhance business pages
Installed a second round of branded trash can wraps
Created a promotional video as part of our Centennial Celebration, airing on the City’s channel 2
Created and distributed annual calendar of events posters
Designed and purchased custom visitors guide display containers with Five Points branding, to be distributed along with visitors guides, city and state wide
Beautification & Green Efforts:
Construction of the Five Points Centennial Plaza, ft. a tribute to Col. Jack Van Loan
Beautification of the Blossom Street train trestle
Continued beautification efforts with the installation of custom LED/twinkle lights in the trees in the median of the 600 block of Harden Street
Continued exploration of aesthetically pleasing and compliant options for future ADA mats and crosswalks
Get Involved, Share Your Voice
The benefits of joining the Five Points Association far outweigh the actual cost. Some of these benefits include:
Additional marketing support for your businesses (to include social media, e-blasts, and media relations)
Distinguished and detailed listing on the Five Points Association website, which includes a photo and all up-to-date business information
Invitation to special annual social events
Opportunity to attend and participate in Five Points Association quarterly membership meetings
Opportunity to serve on any Five Points Association committee (Beauti-5, Clean & Safe, and Membership)
Opportunity to sponsor or participate in any Five Points Association events (St. Pat’s, Five After Five, JerryFest, Summer Sidewalk Sale, Bar Stool Classic, Trick-Or-Treat, Chili Cook-Off, Small Business Saturday, A Starry Night, and more)
Opportunity to vote in the Board of Directors annual election, or run for the Five Points Association Board of Directors
Receive e-mail bulletins about neighborhood news, upcoming activities, and important updates
The Association often serves as a liaison with the City of Columbia and can be helpful in connecting businesses with the appropriate City staff (i.e. grease traps, enforcement, parking)
Remember – the sole purpose of the Five Points Association is to create and maintain a better neighborhood for all of your businesses. We work tirelessly to improve the quality of life in our village and we welcome any and all questions, comments, concerns, etc. Please take this opportunity to get involved – there is no better way to share your voice than from within.
Please note: Membership can be paid by cash or check, but if you opt to pay online, you will be charged a processing fee by PayPal. The fee goes entirely to PayPal and has been added in to both tiers.
The Five Points Association welcomes the community to the third concert of this season’s Five After Five, a free and family friendly outdoor concert series in the heart of Five Points, at the fountain. Throughout the 19th season of this free event, patrons can expect to enjoy five evenings of great local music, brews, food and fun times starting in April, on the first S…
The Five Points Association welcomes the community to the second concert of this season’s Five After Five, a free and family friendly outdoor concert series in the heart of Five Points, at the fountain. Throughout the 19th season of this free event, patrons can expect to enjoy five evenings of great local music, brews, food and fun times starting in April, on the first S…
The Five Points Association applauds Rise Bakeshop for their tremendous growth over the last year, and their need for additional space. While we're sad to lose a member of our Five Points family, we are proud of such an increase in popularity and celebrate owner Sarah Simmons for recognizing their need to accommodate a growing demand. We are thankful to have been a part…
The Five Points Association is disheartened to hear the news of long-time Five Points merchant, Harper's Restaurant, closing its doors. They were an active member of the Association and a beloved business in our village. Every district goes through change and not unlike the rest of downtown Columbia, Five Points is experiencing tremendous growth. We are excited and…