Preserving The Babcock at BullStreet



As part of implementing Hughes Development Corporation’s master plan of the BullStreet District, Davis & Floyd’s team recently completed renovation of The Babcock. Renovation involved converting this historic 250,000 SF building into 208 luxury apartment units.

Altering the former South Carolina State Hospital as apartment homes for Columbia residents is an act of preserving history while repurposing a structure that is core to the city’s skyline.

Erected in 1858, the structure is recognized for its signature red cupola that sits on top. During its two centuries of operation, the Babcock building underwent several expansions and renovations including the addition of three-story wards, kitchens, dining halls, reflooring, offices, and more when it became the Administration Building sometime between 1915 and 1920.

The building is viewed as Greek Revival though the architects worked to put a true South Carolina style to it that has become a treasure to the state’s capital.

The hospital opened in 1828, serving 4,000 patients at its height in the 1950s. The institution closed its doors in 2003 with less than 200 patients and after almost 200 years of care.

Less than a decade later, Hughes Development Corporation purchased the 181-acre campus from the state of South Carolina. Their vision: create an urban district that functions as an extension to the City of Columbia’s downtown.

Located one mile from the University of South Carolina’s campus and state house, this site has high attraction potential for industry and culture as well as provides a mix of residential, retail, restaurant, office, entertainment, and open space.

The new area is projected to attract young professionals and boost Columbia’s economy along with the already successful SEGRA Park (formerly Spirit Communications Park), home to the Columbia Fireflies minor league baseball team.

Hughes Development Corporation selected Davis & Floyd to help implement over 12 projects of the elaborate 20-year BullStreet District master plan. The team continues to work to build flexibility into BullStreet’s progress, meeting various needs of the development and setting the stage for the future.