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Golden Eagle Motor Inn / Comfort Inn Capital City, 2025 Main Street: 2000s   20 comments

Posted at 1:48 am in Uncategorized

I was sitting in Moe's this afternoon, reading The Free Times when I saw that they are tearing down the old Comfort Inn at Main & Elmwood to build a new homeless shelter (despite having no money to do so..).

I dislike taking pictures in the rain both because I hate cleaning the lens and because the results always look dreary. I also hate going downtown during rush hour, but I thought I probably wouldn't have another chance to get some shots while part of the structure was still standing, so I did a drive-by and got a few pix from the car.

The ad is from the 1998 Bellsouth Yellow Pages, and while the building was a Comfort Inn at the time, I think it moved down the hotel food-chain a few times in the 2000s before The Salvation Army ended up taking it over.

UPDATE 25 Feb 2010: Added Golden Eagle Motor Inn ads from 1970 Southern Bell Yellow Pages.

Written by ted on February 25th, 2010

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20 Responses to 'Golden Eagle Motor Inn / Comfort Inn Capital City, 2025 Main Street: 2000s'

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  1. When it first opened in the late 60s-early 70s it was the Golden Eagle Motor Lodge or motel, a chain that also had a location on Meeting street in Charleston.

    The Columbia location had a full service restaurant.


    25 Feb 10 at 9:12 am

  2. My family ate out a lot on Sundays after church and the little restaurant at the Golden Eagle was one of our regular stops. Basic but good food.

    I stayed at the one in Charleston many times, (now a Days Inn). We always called it the Bronze Buzzard.


    25 Feb 10 at 9:49 am

  3. Ah, right you are!

    I've added The Golden Eagle to the post title and put in some 1970 ads.


    25 Feb 10 at 10:32 am

  4. Ted:

    The Salvation Army used the motel rooms as shelter space until water leaks and other maintenance issues caused them to close it down.

    The Midlands Housing Alliance is a non-governmental non-profit that owns the building. They will be building a counselling and residential transition center on the site. It will not be a take-all-comers overnight shelter.

    MHA was founded by businesspeople and other local folks that got fed up with the homeless situation and have decided to start treating the cause of chronic homelessness rather than just feed and shelter.

    MHA is full funded for the construction of the facility. They still have not fully raised the funds for operation of the center.

    The MHA, like the Downtown BID, are private efforts to address community issues that the City of Columbia is unable or unwilling to handle.


    25 Feb 10 at 10:44 am

  5. Thanks for the info!


    25 Feb 10 at 10:47 am

  6. Not a problem! Hate to have folks believe it is a City project, particularly since the City government has a terrible reputation (which is probably justly earned).

    Once city council member is actually trying to fight the Salvation Army for it's decision to locate its new soup kitchen facility in a commercial section of Farrow Road near Palmetto Health Richland, right in an area that has services and many poor.


    25 Feb 10 at 2:04 pm

  7. I think the Motel originally opened in 1966 or maybe 1967. Too bad it became run down and turned into what it was. I say if you want to tear something down, tear down Richland Mall and Columbia Mall. Now THOSE wouldnt be missed at all.


    25 Feb 10 at 7:03 pm

  8. That city councilman is E.W. Cromartie.


    26 Feb 10 at 6:48 am

  9. That's great that these people want to start a "half-way house" and help center for the homeless challenged people and the problems that they are causing due to Columbia's lack of leadership and concern, but as with all things in Columbia's recent past and efforts, I'm afraid this will be yet another failed attempt to try and solve the homeless problems that plague Columbia and will continue to do so for quite a while to come. If these people dont have the funds to run this new facility and are relying soley on private contributions, I'm afraid it's gonna fail from the get-go. I say, use the old State Hospital grounds for the homeless, or find somewhere to build a "shelter" of somekind, but until the homeless are removed from the downtown area, the problem will continue to get worse and worse to the point it will be even more dangerous to go anywhere near downtown Columbia.


    26 Feb 10 at 1:23 pm

  10. Del:

    The homeless issue has gotten better on Main Street, at least south of Taylor Street. The reason is that there is a lot of activity now, so it's much harder to camp out and not be bothered. Plus, the Yellow Shirts and Police do a good job of moving them along.

    Unfortunately, the density and availability of services within walking distance predisposes urban areas to attract homeless and panhandlers. More people = more opportunities for panhandling and the like. It's impossible to move the service areas out in the boonies and expect the homeless to follow, since they travel by foot.

    To address the problem, you've got to not only treat the cause of long-term homelessness, such as untreated mental illness, but also make the majority of the area unattractive to roost and panhandle. Otherwise its just shuffling people around from one area to the next.

    I work downtown south of Taylor, and in 6 years, downtown is much much much safer than it was in 2004. If you haven't been on Main Street between Gervais and Taylor Street at night, you are in for a pleasant shock. There is a lot more activity going on. There are a lot of empty retail spaces still, but that is slowly evolving. Many of the empty structures are slowly decaying because they are owned by absent landlords holding out for bigger rents when the area improves, rather than actively participating in improving the structure and putting the space to active use.


    26 Feb 10 at 9:50 pm

  11. I lived in Cottontown, this homeless scare everyone is afraid of is a joke. Never had any issues at all. The most dangerous thing down there were a-holes speeding through the neighborhood.


    1 Mar 10 at 6:10 am

  12. I quit going to Bojangle's on Elmwood because I was tired of getting panhandled every dang day. And it is ten times worse at McDonald's. And, it has become like a game of Frogger dodging the homeless as the cross the street in a liesurely fashion.

    Like it or not, Columbia has a huge problem with the homeless.


    1 Mar 10 at 8:05 am

  13. I think the Golden Eagle was in business til about '83. I think it then became a Comfort Inn. I'm pretty sure it was still a Comfort Inn when it closed in '99.


    1 Mar 10 at 3:58 pm

  14. My biggest problem with the Bojangles and MCDonald's on Elmwood is that they have the worst service of all their locations in Columbia.


    1 Mar 10 at 8:20 pm

  15. I found this thread after searching for info on the Inn. I bought a Leather Jacket at a yard sale and it was on a wooden hangar with the hotel name, eagle logo and address. It almost looks antique.


    18 Oct 10 at 4:38 pm

  16. Well, it's probably at least 35 years old..


    18 Oct 10 at 5:54 pm

  17. tonkatoy

    6 May 11 at 12:19 pm

  18. I am from New York, but from August to December 1972I was stationed at Ft. Jackson during Basic and Advanced training. On a few occasions I was able to fly home on a weekend pass. However, most other weekends I would head into Columbia and stayed at the Golden Eagle Motel. The first couple of times I share a room with three other guys, but soon thereafter I decided to have the whole room to myself. After a week of hard physical training it was nice to order a Sunday breakfast and lay back and watch a ballgame on TV. I have nice memories of the Golden Eagle and the native Columbians I met.


    9 Mar 19 at 2:23 pm

  19. Like an earlier poster, I came across this website while searching for info about the Inn. I found the name on one of my (now deceased) grandparents' wooden hangers. They lived in SC. Was just curious where the Inn was located. I guess one of them took the hanger during a stay. They seemed like such honest, law-abiding people. Oh well.


    1 Jul 19 at 7:33 pm

  20. just stumbled upon this. Spring '67, while attending USC, I worked part time as a bellhop at the Golden Eagle...very nice people there


    19 Jan 22 at 6:31 pm

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