Archive for the ‘Wilson Boulevard’ tag
OK, let's enlarge that one and turn it around..
I had never been back in this little office/industiral plaza off of North Main/Wilson at the I-20 interchange. It's a bit hard to figure out how to get down in there at first, but once you do, the place is fairly non-descript, though it does seem to have a pretty high vacancy rate. I can't find an actual street address, but the over all complex is 20/21 Business Center.
From what I can tell, Spirax Sarco is a steam technology company that moved to SC from Allentown after a union dispute back in 1998. Then in 2011, they bought a building in Blythewood and are now located there.
Here's another Wilson Boulevard location. I have no real idea what this was, but noticed as I was driving down the street that the old parking lot for *something* is now being used as an impromptu 18-wheeler pull-off.
The shape of the sign seems vaguely familiar, but I can't really come up with anything concrete, and there is currently no street address posted that I could query.
It's been a few years since I noticed this, but somehow I never got around to mentioning it: The Pizza Hut attached to the Columbia Travel Center plaza closed up shop a couple of years ago. As I recall, it was not a full Pizza Hut, but one of the "express" type operations.
I suspect it was a highly unpleasant job, but someone apparently climed the sign tower to elide the "Hut" portion of the Pizza Hut placard!
Ship On Shore / Timex Social Club / Club Rolex / N-21 Plaza, 8400 Wilson Boulevard: 1990s(?) 4 comments
North Main Street becomes Wilson Boulevard as it heads out to Blythewood, though perhaps more to the point here, it is also US-21. I noticed this defunct little plaza on the South side of Wilson at the corner with Pisgah Church Road this weekend. There are no numbers on the buildings, but a bit of web searching suggests that this property is 8400 Wilson Boulevard (and is much more extensive than the two buildings in the plaza).
The only business name that comes up is Armstrong Equipment Company which looks to have been a trucking firm, and would, I guess, be somewhere else on the 4 acres. As for the plaza itself, to me the two buildings appear to have been a bar and convenience store.
This Loopnet listing shows the whole property, with the plaza area listed as "under contract". This property valuation seems to be for a home somewhere on the property, but you have to admire the lake name given in the accompanying graphic.
UPDATE 29 October: From the comments, it appears that one of these was a seafood restaurant in the 80s and also one was a bar called Timex Socal Club and Club Rolex so I have added those to "N-21 Plaza" in the post title.
I suspect the Pizza Hut was one of those brand-destroying kiosk type locations and probably no big loss, but I used to notice the sign when I lived in Aiken, and would travel I-20 west many weekends. I thought I was familar with most Columbia Pizza Huts and could never quite place where it was, as I was expecting a freestanding building.
I have to say that the enclosing "Travel Plaza" has seen better days and is confusing to get in and out of to boot. I had no idea until I took these pictures that the little I-20 industrial frontage strip is called "Plumbers Road". I wonder if it had a plumbing dispatch office on it and got named that during the great 9-1-1 sevice street naming binge of a few years back or it has always been that. There is also a Day's Inn a bit further down the street, and I expect they must work really hard to find "reasons to pick our location" on their marketing...
Gaz-Bah was on Wilson Boulevard (what North Main becomes as it gets near to I-20 and heads to Blythewood) right next to the long defunct Denny's restaurant, and was open until fairly recently. I'm not sure when it closed, but the branding is still up, and the gas pumps have yet to be taken out. I find it a little odd that they felt it necessary to board the store completely up, given that the aforementioned Denny's has survived in good shape for years with no apparent vandalism.
As I was taking these pictures, one of those erratic Fall flocks of birds was in the area, moving from the high, I-20 visible sign to the roof of the store to the roof of the pump carport and back again. You never realize how many there are until they all take wing at the same time in Hitchcockian fashion.
I'm not sure why an exit gas station off a high traffic Interstate would go under, but I will note that the exit from I-20 to Wilson is a bit odd in that you come out on the other side of the street than you expect, and would then have to make a left to get to Gaz-Bah, while there is a travel plaza directly in front of you that requires no turn.
I've written about Denny's before, and about how I am not a big fan, though I confess I've had my share of 2AM suppers at various locations over the years after insane work schedules. I knew about the old Two Notch Denny's, the one that used to be on Airport Boulevard, and the Denny's "Diner" that is still on Harbison Boulevard, but I didn't know about this place at all.
Wilson Boulevard is what North Main Street is called after it gets close to crossing over I-20, and as it happened, I had some business in the area recently and noticed this closed restaurant as I was driving by. The shape of the sign suggested a Denny's, and sure enough a quick google verified that. I don't have a closing date, but it can't have been too many years ago. On the surface, the I-20 location, near to a truck stop, and with lots of parking seems like it could have supported a restaurant. I don't ever recall seeing a sign from the highway though. Perhaps they didn't advertise well enough, or perhaps people don't want to eat at Denny's unless they have to, and the interstate corridor through Columbia has a number of better alternatives.