2012 photo of Claussen's Bakery, then The Inn at Claussen's (Bitters)
Backstory and Context
Claussen's Bakery is a massive, two-story building facing Green Street built in 1928. The structure is 128 feet long and reaches a height of 30 feet at the top of its stepped parapet. The red brick's front facade is accented with off-white cast stone ornamentation as window trim, as diamond-shaped insets above windows, and in an inset panel across the three central bays spelling "Claussen's Bakery." cartouches with ornate shields display the date "1928" (the year the building opened).
Constructed for George Frederick Claussen, the grandson of a German immigrant who started the family bakery business in Charleston, the new building in Columbia was part of the bakery's expansion. The building dominates one of the entrances to Columbia's "Five Points" area, the earliest commercial shopping district in the city. Three large doors on the west elevation open toward the parking lot and a rail line for ease of unloading baking supplies and loading finished baked goods. Claussen's once employed bakers to create bread and other baked goods (mainly rolls) in the building which were distributed from this location. A nearly identical building was erected in Greenville, South Carolina two years after the Columbia bakery. The Greenville building has undergone many modifications since then, especially when compared to its Columbia cousin. Claussen's once employed several hundred people in the three South Carolina bakeries.
The building stopped being a bakery in 1963 and was converted into The Inn at Claussen's. The Inn closed in 2015. The building was revamped into 29 boutique studio or loft apartments by Styx Co. and re-opened in June of 2019. The interior common area of Claussen's Apartments features soaring ceilings with salvaged metal framework that once moved baking equipment. The apartments have exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and original windows from the bakery era. Each apartment is unique, with modern granite and marble in the kitchens and bathrooms. Other tenants in the building are Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe and a wine shop/cater named Cellar on Greene.
Claussen's Bakery was listed in the National Register in 1987 as part of a supplement to a Multiple Property Submission, the Historic Resources of Columbia. The structure, on almost two acres, is significant for its relationship to the industrial and commercial development of the city and for its early expression of a corporate image through architecture. It is in the Five Points area of Columbia, southeast of downtown and three blocks northeast of the University of South Carolina campus.
Bryan, John M. NRHP Nomination, MPS Supplement IX, Historic Resources of Columbia. Washington, DC. National Park Service, 1987.
Lattimore, Miranda. Historic Claussen's Bakery gets new life, COLA Today. June 11th 2019. Accessed December 17th 2019. https://colatoday.6amcity.com/historic-claussens-bakery-becomes-boutique-apartments/.
SC Dept. of Archives & History. Claussen's Bakery, National Register Properties in South Carolina. Accessed December 17th 2019. http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/richland/S10817740095/index.htm.