The state’s historic former mental hospital caught fire Thursday night — but Columbia fire crews were able to put it out.
The Columbia Fire Department announced at 11 p.m. that the fire was contained and its cause was under investigation.
The Babcock building was built between 1857 and 1885 on the grounds of the Bull Street campus, then called the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum. The building’s iconic cupola stands out as a Columbia landmark, though the building has been vacant for many years. It was slated for redevelopment as part of the reimagining of Bull Street by Hughes Development of Greenville.
On Friday morning, Mayor Steve Benjamin tweeted, “We are all heartbroken at the damage to the historic Babcock Building & thankful to the brave men & women of @ColaFire who protected & fought to preserve this treasure @HistColumbia @BullStreetSC.” — Eva Moore
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