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Wigs & Things, 1639 Main Street: 2011   18 comments

Posted at 10:40 pm in stores

This storefront, on the same block as the new Mast was until recently one of Columbia's improbable number of wig stores. I'm not as surprised that it closed as I am at how long it lasted in what has been a pretty poor location for retail since at least the mid 1970s. In fact, though I wish everybody well, I am sceptical of a long term "Mast effect" on this area, especially given that a number of the closings on this block are fairly recent.

Written by ted on October 17th, 2011

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18 Responses to 'Wigs & Things, 1639 Main Street: 2011'

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  1. Ted, Mast effect isn't just more openings its mainly gentrification. So closures of older stuff to make way for newer stuff too. The hope is that as it becomes a more desirable street the less desirable retail (a la the wig stores) will vacate.

    But I too am skeptical just saying that closures such as this one are part of the Mast effect.

    Mike D

    18 Oct 11 at 2:43 pm

  2. I bet there is a beautiful old facade waiting to be restored under the current one.

    Jeff B.

    18 Oct 11 at 3:26 pm

  3. Mike D/Ted, etc.

    I think that it is finally the store owners, who have had these properties since the 1960's are finally reaching the point where they just can't deal with it anymore...I am sure there has been multiple days, probably in a row, where this store has not even had one customer walk through the door. Wig stores generally do more business at Halloween, but still...How may wig stores do you need on Main Street. Soon the answer will be zero. It probably has been the answer for 15 years, but finally they are closing up. These elder store owners are passing the business on to their children, but they don't want it. Think the dry cleaning business on Main. How inconvenient in the current days of drive through pick up is it to park and drop off/pick up your cleaning? Why would you go to Kimbells, when there are bookoos of lower end furniture places where you can park freely on Harbison and get no interest until 2015? King's Jewelers? Go to the mall. And the rent on Main is finally pushing these businesses out, that were probably just breaking even paying the light bill. You know what the city did to Sherlock Holmes? Didn't fix the leaky roof and ran them out of business until Big Money Grip ($) stepped in to build the Sheraton. Now it is immaculate. Man, I feel better!!

    Jonathan

    18 Oct 11 at 3:54 pm

  4. Former Mayor Bob is to blame for a lot of downtown's problems. Dutch Square and Columbia Mall didnt do downtown any good either. But a lot of it is, downtown Columbia's "hey day" was in the 60's on back when it was the only place you could go.

    Del

    18 Oct 11 at 6:03 pm

  5. Main Street was dead before Bobblehead Bob stepped in. i believe most of the blame should go to Mayor Campbell, who prosided over the death of Main. A lot of it was because of cultural shifts that he had no sway over, but remember the stadium lights in the median? Wasn't he the one that shrank Main to two lanes rather than four? THAT was a significant event in the fall of Main.

    But Bobblehead and T-Bone Benji have both made it economically difficult to do business in Columbia. And Jonthan is right about paying for parking. I refuse to, and many others do, too. I just cross the bridge into Lexington County with its less expensive taxes, and more convenient shopping.

    tonkatoy

    19 Oct 11 at 6:43 am

  6. Mayor Bobble Head had more old houses and buildings torn down in the name of "progress" than what Sherman and his army burned down here in Columbia back in 1865. I blame Mayor Bob and others for hurting Columbia, and now you have the "Columbia City Council" and they arent the smartest or the brightest lightbulbs in the bunch either.

    Del

    19 Oct 11 at 1:21 pm

  7. @Tonka -- Yeah those lights were one of the worst ideas anyone has had, and that's saying a lot..

    I was just a kid, but as I recall it from hearing my parents talk, most folks were more or less aware that the city was planning new lights for Main Street, and had an "Oh, that's nice." attitude to it without digging for any details. In the event the actual lights were universally despised when people saw them for the first time and realized that the view towards the State House was completely blocked..

    Another scheme I recall that I can't imagine a) why anyone thought it was a good idea or b) that it was a big enough deal to be either bad or good was "catty-cornered" crosswalks at several Main intersections..

    ted

    19 Oct 11 at 1:49 pm

  8. Those light towers were part of a master plan for the city developed by Doxiadis Associates in the 1960s. The problem was that the plan called for Main Street to be turned into a pedestrian mall, but the city council decided to do things halfway and build the light towers but scrap the pedestrian mall.

    Jim

    19 Oct 11 at 5:07 pm

  9. Wow...I remember my dad talking about the stadium lights going over like a sore thumb...

    I remember reading an article recently about how they're planning to streetscape Assembly somehow b/c it is currently designed for app. 60K VPD but only sees 28K and I was reading it thinking the money would be better spent widening Hard Scrabble Road in Northeast Richland...

    Andrew

    19 Oct 11 at 5:23 pm

  10. @ Jim- Nothing in the Doxaids plan was ever done. The Main street mall design that included those ugly towers was created by someone else in the 1970s. Given how much the city spent on the Dixodes in the 60s and then turned around and spent more money on a plan no one liked, there was a lot of controversy at the time.

    Tom

    20 Oct 11 at 5:11 am

  11. @ Del, you're right about the houses, but that was towards the end of his reign, wasn't it?

    @Andrew, do not believe that 60K story at all, because the folks pushing it are New Urbanists trying to push an agenda. Find the actual formula for doing capacity design, and it was actually designed for 25K based on consitions. The 60K BS is assuming rush hour traffic all day, I believe.

    Regarding the Doxiadis plan, it is a good thing they didn't do the outside mall route,; Sumter did it and effectively and immediately killed downtown. The gazebo they had in the middle of Main is now on the other side of Liberty Street from Swan Lake.

    I recall seeing a drawing once of Main with a winding pathway with one of those World Fair Glide-a-Rides running on it. I guess that was the Doxiadis plan.

    tonkatoy

    20 Oct 11 at 6:49 am

  12. If I remember right, Mayor Booble Head had everything torn down old or what he deemed as old and out of date and had all the facades changed to make everything look more "modern". I think though it may have been the one before him that had main streets 6 lanes (2 for parking and 4 for traffic) taken down to just 2 lanes and made the sidewalks bigger. I dont know who's to blame, but it wasnt the most smart idea..and now it's like driving down a hallway it's so narrow. Columbia aint what it used to be and will never be what it was, and that's too bad. Thanks Mayor Bob!

    Del

    20 Oct 11 at 12:08 pm

  13. Assembly Street has got to be able to handle Game Day traffic, not just average traffic..

    (And it already doesn't, the few times I'm down there on Game Days..)

    ted

    20 Oct 11 at 12:16 pm

  14. I thought the plan included the light towers, but that recollection comes from a presentation about the plan that was made to my elementary school class in the 1960s. Why they made a presentation to an elementary school class, I don't know.

    Jim

    20 Oct 11 at 12:17 pm

  15. Main went to two lane about the same time the towers went up. Had to have the median for the light poles.

    tonkatoy

    20 Oct 11 at 1:23 pm

  16. When the roads were planned by whomever, they werent thinking 40-60 years later. The roads as they are now are from the 30's or 40's. They could handel the traffic through the 60's and 70's, but 10 times as many people live here now and the road system is too antiquated. Columbia was kept small on purpose by the founding fathers so to speake to give it that small town feel. The Hampton's and Taylor's are the ones that didnt want Columbia to grow bigger and when it was built over again after Sherman, Columbia stayed the same size pretty much that you see now 146 years later.

    Del

    20 Oct 11 at 2:15 pm

  17. Well, folks, it appers that Bright Meyers is interested in Capitol City Stadium, home to the Columbia Reds, then the Capitol City Bombers (anyone remember this jingle: ♫ When the bombers play, we cheer bombs away, we're the Capitol City Bombers of Columbia, S-C; bombs away, it's time to play, the capitol City Bombers of Columbia S-C ♫ (would love to hear it in an MP3 format if anyone has it)) and now the Columbia Blowfish

    In the comments of the story I've linked, someone linked to the WLTX story for anyone interested in their take on it...

    Andrew

    20 Oct 11 at 7:13 pm

  18. btw let me add that Bright Meyers is a developer heavily involved with Rogers, Ark.-based Walmart and has built these locations in the Columbia area in recent years:

    Store #4379: 1326 Bush River Road (Bush River Village)
    Store #4440: 1180 Dutch Fork Road (Dutch Fork Crossing)
    Store #4506: 321 Killian Road (Killian Crossing)
    Store #4420: 115 E Church Street (Batesburg Leesville)

    I am not 100% sure, but I think they were also behind store #4521 in Red Bank (1780 South Lake Drive)

    Andrew

    20 Oct 11 at 7:27 pm

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