Columbia Township Auditorium
|Location||1703 Taylor St.|
Columbia, South Carolina
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Lafaye and Lafaye; John C. Heslep|
|Architectural style||Georgian Revival|
|MPS||Segregation in Columbia, South Carolina MPS|
|NRHP reference #||05001104|
|Added to NRHP||September 28, 2005|
Columbia Township Auditorium, also known as Township Auditorium, is a historic auditorium located at Columbia, South Carolina. It was built in 1930, and is a three-story, brick building with a Doric order columned portico in the Georgian Revival style. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, and in 2009 it underwent a complete renovation/modernization that saw the architects/facility win national awards for historic preservation/renovation. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 2,500 to 3,500 depending on the arrangements of the orchestra floor.
In the early years of the building the facility was a major tour stop in the Southeast USA with everyone performing there including Elvis Presley in '56, Bill Haley & His Comets with Bo Diddley in '56, Isley Brothers in '60, Johnny Cash in '63, Peter, Paul, & Mary in '63 (Mary died in '09), Augusta's James Brown in '65, Macon's Otis Redding with Atlanta's Gladys Knight in '65, Beach Boys in '65, Greenwood's frat rock Swingin' Medallions in '66, Paul Revere & The Raiders in '67, Joan Baez in '68, Florida's Ray Charles in '60, Loretta Lynn, Count Basie & His Orchestra in '47, The Ink Spots r&b group in '40, and Duke Ellington just to name a few. Through the 70s and 80s the building was a major part of the success and growth of professional wrestling in the US. Pink Floyd played there in '72, Bruce Springsteen played there in '78, The Jacksons performed there in '79 (Michael died in '09), Blue Oyster Cult in '79, Athens' R.E.M. in '86, the Beastie Boys in '87 (MCA died in '12), Red Hot Chili Peppers in '89, Blues Traveler played there in '92 and '97 (bassist Bobby Sheehan died in '99), Toad the Wet Sprocket in '95, Virginia's Dave Matthews in '97 and '99, Live in '99, Godsmack in '04, Alicia Keys in '05, Train in '06, Switchfoot in '07, Cake in 2012. In 2010, Tony Bennett performed at the reopening of the Township. Although the building always had popularity, since the renovation the building has had more major shows come through like Jason Isbell, Charlotte's Avett Brothers in 2015, Jack White in 2014, Rise Against with Florida's A Day to Remember in 2012, John Legend, Charlotte's K-Ci & JoJo and Anthony Hamilton, Mary J. Blige, John Mellencamp in 2015, Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, Pretty Lights, Skrillex in '14, Charleston's Band Of Horses in '13, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, The Smashing Pumpkins (3 times: in 1994, 2000, and 2007), Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington in '13, Queens of the Stone Age in 2014, Amos Lee, Alison Krauss, Greensboro's Daughtry, Raleigh's Ryan Adams in 2009 and 2017, Rob Thomas (raised in Lake City, SC), a rap concert with Ja Rule, DMX, and Juvenile, the Atlanta rapper Future, Atlanta rap group Migos in '17, and comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle in '04, and Gabriel Iglesias in 2012, just to name a few. Also as a special honor when the legendary jam band Widespread Panic from Athens celebrated their 25th anniversary they picked the Township Auditorium as one of their favorite places to play. Widespread Panic played there in 2013, '15, and '16. Also the king of blues music BB King played one of his final shows at the building before he died in 2015. Author Pat Conroy from Beaufort also spoke at the Township two years before he died in 2016.
The facility is owned and operated by Richland County, with currently Aundrai Holloman serving as Executive Director and Andrew Horne serving as the Assistant Executive Director.