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Clarion Hotel secondary building, 1615 Gervais Street: October 2014   8 comments

Posted at 11:29 pm in closing























The Carolina's restaurant building at the Gervais Street Clarion is being razed as part of the upfitting of the property to become a dual branded Hilton Garden Inn / Home 2 Suites.

I never went there though over the years I heard it advertised many times, especially with New Years Eve packages at the hotel. I'm not sure exactly where the fancy spiral staircase fit in, but it doesn't seem like the sort of thing you would usually find in a hotel restaurant.

The State notes that the hotel was Sherman's Columbia headquarters and is a historic site. I confess I'm a bit confused about exactly what part of the property dates back that far. Surely the actual hotel building on Gervais is not that old.

(Hat tip to commenter badger)

UPDATE 4 November 2014 -- I had originaly titled this post Carolina's Restaurant, but according to the comments, that restaurant is still in service as part of the hotel proper:

The restaurant itself is still open. It closed temporarily during the construction, and then re-opened. The images that you've posted above were not the actual Carolina's Restaurant. That's actually inside the Clarion Hotel. That building was for banquet halls, conventions, and that sort of thing.

UPDATE 13 November 2018 -- Four years later and work is still ongoing, though things are shaping up:



Written by ted on October 29th, 2014

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8 Responses to 'Clarion Hotel secondary building, 1615 Gervais Street: October 2014'

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  1. The plaque on the side of the Clarion states the hotel is built on the site of Sherman's headquarters, but the hotel itself is not the original headquarter building.

    As for the spiral staircase, it appears they are razing more than just the restaurant. If I remember correctly there was a second 2 story hotel building with outside entrances that formed a "L" shape down the side and across the back of the property. I stayed at this hotel when I first came down to investigate moving to Columbia and I distinctly remember the "L" shaped building.

    As for the new Home 2 Suites, this is a very different brand by Hilton that has a lot of European features. Everything from the furniture design to the bathroom fixtures. Some might call the furniture retro, but it is actually more European. The philosophy behind Home 2 Suites is resource conservation, so the toilet will have a lower water usage, housekeeping only cleans the rooms twice a week for stays of longer duration, etc. etc. I found the one in Rochester, NY this past summer to be comfortable. They are also very affordable as compared to other national branded hotels.

    James R

    30 Oct 14 at 12:37 am

  2. The old "Sherman" House was bought by Mr. Mimnaugh who opened up what became Belk's in the 1920's or there of when the Belk Family bought it from him. The Sherman House was turned into The Martha Washington and was torn down I think in the early 60's, and this building took its place. I have an original Columbia Postcard that has the Martha Washington on it. I'm not sure of though when it was "razed". I don't remember the place though when the house was there.


    30 Oct 14 at 1:35 am

  3. James is correct that there is/was a L shaped motel type building that came around the back of the Clarion. I've ridden my bike by it many times. I also am pretty sure that's where the staircase came from.


    30 Oct 14 at 7:58 am

  4. The Town House was built around 1964. There is a picture of the house that Sherman stayed in the book "Tales of Columbia."


    31 Oct 14 at 1:08 am

  5. The restaurant itself is still open. It closed temporarily during the construction, and then re-opened. The images that you've posted above were not the actual Carolina's Restaurant. That's actually inside the Clarion Hotel. That building was for banquet halls, conventions, and that sort of thing.


    2 Nov 14 at 8:09 pm

  6. Former employee of the Clarion and Carolinas here...
    The restaurant had closed on July 28th, but is back open, according to their FB feed.
    As others have noted, there were two sections of the Clarion--the five-story building that housed the front desk/restaurant/banquet rooms on the first floor, and the other floors (2-5) had guest rooms. The other section was the L-shaped building with was two stories. One part of the L-section looks like it has been razed, but I haven't seen if the guest rooms in the back of the hotel are still there.
    I am not just saying this because I worked there, but the restaurant had really good food, especially their prime rib on Friday nights.


    3 Nov 14 at 11:47 am

  7. I used to work there as a maintenance man in the early 2000s. Well the part that was tore down was part of a rentable banquet hall. People would throw some awesome parties there. Behind it on the ground floor was the laundry room for the bedding and for housekeeping staff to hang out. The part from then on was built during the 1950s i believe. When I was helping remodel a room in that area i found a few things in the wall we were tearing down. Also by we i mean me since my boss Charlie was a real jerk and didn't help much except scream at me. Let alone train me on my job. Anyways I found a old 1958 dated screwdriver, a few pennies dated from the 50s, and newspaper bits. Place was full of history. Also have tons of stories about that place. Let alone finding coke straws and other paraphernalia in the bushes while doing landscaping work. That and the time the laundry area caught on fire due to no one taking lint out the dryers for a long time.


    16 Jul 17 at 2:44 am

  8. I was a bellman and a desk clerk at the Town House Motor Inn from '70-72. It was owned by Crown Inns at that time. There was only the L-shaped, 2 story section at that time (with a small court in the rear). There was a small, outdoor swimming pool located directly behind the front desk. And if my memory is correct, the restaurant in the front of the building was named the Fountain Room. The 6-story high rise construction began during that time.


    3 May 20 at 9:33 am

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