Welcome to Five Points!
Five Points is a village unlike any other located in the heart of downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Surrounded by 7+ residential neighborhoods, the University of South Carolina, a buzzing metropolitan, government agencies and supportive military community, this century old destination has something for everyone!
Five Points History
With significant improvement of storm drainage infrastructure in the 1910’s and 1920’s the City of Columbia prepared the swampy land for redevelopment transforming a marshy “no man’s” land on the edge of Columbia’s iconic grid into a thriving commercial district full of charm, diversity, culture and class.
Two star-like intersections known as “Five Points” by the early 1920s included gas stations, groceries, pharmacies, service stations and specialty stores boasting the city’s first drive-through dry-cleaner and Chinese food restaurant, as well as delis, liquor stores, beauty parlors and vacuum cleaner repair shops with the additions of Harden, Greene and Devine streets over the following decades.
Once referred to as a “city-within-a-city,” Five Points remains an iconic neighborhood in Columbia and beyond dedicated to preserving its rich legacy. For over 100 years, through change and growth, Columbians have witnessed many phases, yet the streets of Five Points remain timeless. Time has afforded the commencement of symbols that preserve the history and model the tradition of Five Points.
With 74 “resources,” mostly buildings dating from the 1920’s through the 1940’s, this historic district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019 joining more than 1,400 National Register listings in South Carolina. Most of Five Points’ historic structures are still recognizable, including the Tudor Revival storefronts wrapping the west corner of Harden and Devine streets (built in 1929-31), Claussen’s Bakery at 2003 Greene Street (built in 1928), the stores on either side of Saluda Avenue (1940’s), Yesterday’s at 2030 Devine Street (built 1935, second-story added in the early 1950’s), and the Five Points Theater at 630-34 Harden Street (1939).
Today, Five Points remains that one of a kind district without an anchor store and home to the highest density of locally owned businesses. Columbia’s Original Village Neighborhood buzzes with foot traffic still an iconic neighborhood in Columbia and beyond with over 100 years of history and pockets of unique retailers and restaurants, commercial businesses and services, peppered with culture and charm as a truly eclectic village neighborhood that begs to be explored!
WHAT IS FIVE POINTS?
Well, that depends who you ask. Five Points has over 100 years of history, accomplishments, tenants, evolution, nostalgia, and the list goes on and on! For some, Five Points is synonymous with Small Business. For others it’s a destination, a must see, a planned outing. Five Points is widely recognized as a gathering place. Overall, the one word that resonates in unison with Five Points is COMMUNITY…. it is after all Columbia’s Original Village Neighborhood. Simply put, Five Points is the downtown district extending from the intersection of Santee Avenue, Harden & Devine Streets connecting Gervais and Blossom Street.
While history is celebrated and cherished, the neighborhood continues in its tradition, evolving, as a village, together. With evolution comes change and transition, and for Five Points, new opportunity. The Five Points Association and its Board continue efforts to promote Five Points and what the village has to offer. As a non-profit, the events, development, Clean & Safe team, and beautification projects wouldn’t be possible without the devoting support of our companions & champions; the City of Columbia and Richland County.