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Lorick Art Collection Coming to Library

The Columbia Museum of Art and Richland Library are partnering to give the public more access to the Lorick Library collection.

Now the cultural anchor of Main Street, the Columbia Museum of Art revived the 1500 block of Main when it opened its doors in 1998. Throughout the years, the curators at the museum built a library of books about art collections, establishing the Lorick Library. The Lorick Family owned the property at the corner of Main and Hampton streets for generations.

In fact, this corner of Main had been in the hands of the Lorick family since 1873, when Preston C. Lorick and his partner R.N. Lowrance operated a large dry good store on the site. Lorick & Lowrance’s had been in business in other locations and under shifting ownership since after the Civil War, when the city began to rebuild from the ashes of Sherman’s visit. The store was one of the premier shopping destinations in the city, selling everything from rifles to china dinnerware. Preston C. Lorick took an active role in the city’s affairs as a business and church leader.

Lorick & Lowrance’s store was housed in the former Columbia Hotel, but that building burned down in 1913. However, a new hardware store was soon constructed on the same site and the Lorick & Lowrance Hardware store remained strong. After Preston Lorick’s death in 1922, the business was operated by his son, Lee Alexander Lorick, and his wife, Mary Craig Lorick. Their daughter, Lee Lorick Prina, later leased the property to White’s, Davisons’s and Macy’s Department Stores, but during the latter part of the twentieth century retail shopping slowly drained from Main Street.

In the mid-1990s, the Columbia Museum of Art began exploring relocating to the downtown area to give the city center a cultural boost and to secure more space for its crowded collections. The museum purchased the old Macy’s Department store and property from the Lorick family descendants and began renovation. Many Columbians, including the Lorick descendants, made generous donations to the effort, allowing the Museum to create a modern gallery space and to once again bring visitors to Main Street. The Lorick Art Collection is named in honor of this Columbia family and it’s long impact on Main Street.

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