There is much more to Downtown Columbia than just shopping and offices. Residents are invited to explore and learn about the many faces of Town Center in the three tours being offered at Columbia Association’s (CA) 2nd annual WalkAlong.
The WalkAlong, which is sponsored by CA’s Columbia Archives, is being held on Saturday, May 4. Each tour will begin at 10 a.m. at the Archives office in the American City Building, which is located at 10227 Wincopin Circle. The gently paced walks to distinct areas of Town Center are between one and two miles and are expected to last about two hours. Each tour will be led by an informed guide and will include facts and trivia to pepper the conversation.
Tour 1 will look back at architect Frank Gehry’s early career and Rouse Company connections before setting off to view Merriweather Post Pavilion and the former Rouse Co. headquarters — his two major contributions to the Columbia landscape. Get an idea of what Columbia means to Gehry and what having Gehry buildings means to Columbia.
Tour 2 will venture to the softer side of Downtown Columbia. A walk around Lake Kittamaqundi will unveil Columbia’s skyline in a new light with an eye to the future, as well as the past. The tour will also highlight Kennedy Gardens, the legacy cherry trees being planted there, and plans for a new path to bring people the entire way around Lake Kittamaqundi.
Tour 3 will highlight Oakland Manor, the well-preserved 19th century mansion with a long history that includes Civil War militias, high society, hippie college kids, elegant weddings and the outbuildings — which have a history of their own, including thoroughbred horses, Columbia artists Wes Yamaka and John Levering, and the Kittamaqundi Community Church.
Columbia Archives is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are encouraged. Among the materials available are articles about Columbia from the local and national media; home builders’ brochures; and Merriweather memorabilia; as well as a large document collection that is available for research.