COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 (LC17) has begun a beautification and commemoration project at the entrance of the Lincoln Street tunnel.
The class is working to revitalize the Lincoln Street tunnel, an area that serves as the first segment of the Vista Greenway in downtown Columbia. The revitalization project, titled “Watermarked,” will yield a pedestrian-friendly path through the addition of landscape, signage, local artwork, lighting and seating. The project will also memorialize Columbians’ spirit of strength, unity and passion evoked after the 2015 flood.
The Lincoln Street tunnel is a 100-year-old railroad tunnel that stretches 400 feet under the street, beginning at the corner of Lincoln and Lady streets. The area is a critical link for pedestrians and cyclists between residential neighborhoods, Finlay Park and the Vista, the city’s shopping and entertainment district.
While the tunnel is currently designated as a walking and biking path, it’s not a popular area due to its run-down appearance. LC17 aims to make the tunnel a true connector to the Vista, creating a space that attracts citizens, business owners and tourists to the area. Several community entities, including the City of Columbia, have expressed the benefit of the Watermarked project to the Vista, and to the overall Midlands area.
To assist with the local artwork component, One Columbia for Arts and History has commissioned its database to help the class identify an artist that can incorporate the key themes of strength, unity and passion. We have also partnered with Engenuity SC for administrative support.
The Lincoln Street tunnel project will be completed by the end of April, when a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held.
Leadership Columbia is still in need of in-kind and financial donations to fund the renovation project. Members of the public and corporate sector may donate money or give in-kind donations by contacting anyone in the Leadership Columbia Class of 2017 or by emailing WatermarkedSC@gmail.com.
Founded by the Columbia Chamber in 1972, Leadership Columbia strives to provide the community with an enduring source of diverse leaders who are prepared and committed to serving their region.
The 10-month skills-building program provides an educational experience with a strong emphasis on social and community awareness, while challenging the candidates to step out of their comfort zones and become involved in Columbia. The Class of 2017 includes 58 participants from across the Midlands.