Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vintage soon to be an Antiquity Fine Threads of Columbia,SC

I grew up in Columbia, SC and have lived here for 56 years.  That is all of my life.  When I was little there weren't any Malls and every one went to town which for us was all located on Main Street in Columbia.  It is so different now. The original Tapp's building is a now a part of history and still serves for artist and their events. 

 History in the making...I live in SC. In our capitol city of Columbia we used to have a very popular store called Tapp's. It was there before all of the malls came into being. It's basement was a restaurant and the upper floors were filled with anything that you could think of. They have been out of business for several years because the owner died and the building has now been re-purposed into an arts center. I purchased the pattern for this one from 
DebbiesBusyBee here on Etsy. The thread that this fashion collar is made from was from that store. The label on the packaging for the thread says that it was manufactured at Lily Mills Company in Shelby, NC.but it was purchased at Tapp's (The meeting place), which makes this item Unique and one of a kind piece of history. This vintage # 30 fine thread has worked into the daintiest creation to accessorize your blouse, dress, or outfit for a special occasion. The outside edges of this Fashion collar measures 91/2 inches in circumference and the inside edge is approximately 5 1/2inches. I used a chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, and many spaces to create a light and delicate touch to any outfit. Then I took care in starching and ironing this Fashion Collar that would look great with a small and light antique brooch.
This item will include the tag from the Daisy thread which states .29 Tapp's manufactured in Shelby, NC at Lily Mills Company
Care Instruction: hand wash in cool water with woolite to preserve the quality. Air dry, starch and iron.

In 1940 the Tapp’s Department Store moved into the new building and opened a restaurant in the basement of the structure. At the time, Tapp’s was the only department store east of the Mississippi River to offer its customers an air conditioned shopping experience. In 1952 two additional stories were
added to the building.
Tapp’s continued to serve downtown Columbia, but as more residents relocated to the suburbs, the department store followed suit and opened additional branches. By the 1970s Tapp’s had expanded to include four store locations: the original downtown location, Dutch Square, Woodhill Mall, and Trenholm Plaza. A furniture store was also added on Blanding Street. In 1979 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the fifty year age minimum was waved due to its architectural significance.
By the 1990s downtown shopping had become practically obsolete. The closure of two other major retail centers, Belk and Macy’s, greatly declined the steadily decreasing business of Tapp’s. In 1993 the department store celebrated its 90th anniversary and stood as the largest retailer still operating
on Main Street. Two years later the Tapp family decided to permanently close the doors to the store. The closure of Tapp’s Department Store provoked a large emotional reaction from the citizens of Columbia who had come to depend on this family run institution for decades. The building remained vacant for nearly a decade until it was purchased by a real estate developer and converted into downtown residential space.  In 2005 Capitol Places formed a partnership with the original developer and began managing the property.
The exterior of the department store is virtually unchanged except for the addition of windows to the south elevation, which were found to not alter the historical significance of the structure. All of the original department store signage has been preserved and can still be seen from Main Street, as well as
near the residential entrance to the building. The first floor, now commercial space, is identical to when Tapp’s was in operation, with high ceilings, columns and other details. Throughout the building, the original concrete floors,windows and columns have been incorporated into the residential design of
the space.

The Tapp’s Department Store still stands over downtown Columbia, now as Main Street Lofts and Tapp’s Arts Center.


  1. Fascinating history! I haven't been to Columbia, but perhaps next time I visit Myrtle Beach I'll adventure there.

    1. I hope that you do. We would love to have you Kristin! Our vista is a playground of things to do and there are ghost tours in town that you can schedule ahead.