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Local architect plans to renovate former Hennessy’s building

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Local architect Scott Garvin has designs on the former Hennessy’s restaurant building at 1649 Main St.

Garvin, president of Columbia’s Garvin Design Group, has submitted plans detailing proposed renovations for approval, along with a request for Bailey Bill certification, to the city’s Design/Development Review Commission.

Architect Scott Garvin's plan to renovate the former Hennessy's restaurant location on Main Street includes removing existing stucco exterior. (Image/Provided)The two-story brick building has been located at the corner of Main and Blanding streets since the 1880s, when it was a grocery store. Most recently, it served as the home of Hennessy’s Restaurant, which closed in 2011, leaving behind its familiar green-and-yellow sign.

The Garvin Design Group plans to rehabilitate the building to resume restaurant and potentially office use, according to the request presented to the design commission. Renovations would return the storefront to its 1941 façade, which included a recessed entry and a large triple-paned window. Existing stucco would be removed, as would glass blocks from a north-facing window.

The original basement, which extends under the sidewalk on the north side, would be opened up for a below-ground courtyard for dining, accessible from the sidewalk.

Bailey Bill status grants owners of historic properties a tax abatement. For a period of no more than 20 years, property tax assessments can be locked in based on the property’s fair market value before renovations.

The building at 1649 Main St. has also housed Ruff’s Hardware Company, which occupied the structure in 1909. The owners of that company gave the building the 1941 overhaul that Garvin Design Group wants to partly recreate.

The Design/Development Review Commission’s preliminary staff recommendations include approval for exterior changes and Bailey Bill certification. The requests will be taken up at the commission’s Thursday meeting.

View the renovation plan here.

Also on Thursday’s agenda is approval for a certificate of design for the proposed 15-story apartment building, The Edge, at Washington and Assembly streets. The project received site plan approval at the commission’s July 14 meeting, but the commission deferred approval of the design certificate, citing concerns about details including a large stucco wall and a one-story façade. A work session to address those concerns was held July 25, with no formal action taken.

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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