Opera Houae Fire

At one time in its history, Columbia was the home of a huge opera house located at 3rd. & Locust Sts. in downtown. The auditorium was built on the upper floors above six businesses at street level. February 19, 1947 became a fateful day when the opera house caught fire. Most of the flames were centered around the huge clock tower atop the buiding.

This 20 sq.ft. diorama depicts Columbia's downtown on that day. Most of the buildings still stand today, but may have changed owners. Other buildings no longer exist and were replaced. Hotel Columbia and Hotel Locust recently underwent a rebuilding process, and now have appartments. The diorama will contain buildings along 3rd St. including the historic Markethouse (the building with the round roof).

Constructing an LED-lit mini diorama inside the markethous depicting shoppers and vendors is in the plans for the market. Cardboard mockups of other buildings on 3rd St. and on Cherry St. above 3rd. St. are in place. These were from Google Streetview as well as photos in the Columbia Historic Preservation Society's many photo albums. Mock ups were done to determine size, fit and location. This project is ongoing. Bewlow are a few photos at different stages of construction.

This diorama exteneds from one end of the layout near Yurzan Mine and a town built on a hill to hide the Reading Line's passage through the backdrop.

A Few Photos