Columbia, South Carolina and Springfield, Illinois have several things in common. They both have approximately the same number of populace. They both have a university, they both are the State Capitol and they are both centrally located within the state. But thus ends their commonality.
Columbia was chosen as the new state capital in 1786. It was incorporated as a village in 1805 and then as a city in 1854. The commissioners designed a town of 400 blocks in a 2-mile (3 km) square along the river. The blocks were divided into lots of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) and sold to speculators and prospective residents. Buyers had to build a house at least 30 feet (9.1 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide within three years or face an annual 5% penalty. The perimeter streets and two through streets were 150 feet (46 m) wide. The remaining squares were divided by thoroughfares 100 feet (30 m) wide. The width was determined by the belief that dangerous and pesky mosquitoes could not fly more than 60 feet (18 m) without dying of starvation along the way (information gathered from Wikipedia).
Columbians still enjoy most of the magnificent network of wide streets but I believe they have since realized that mosquitoes do have the ability to fly longer distances before dying.
The present day State House was built and completed in 1903. It is the third State House, in South Carolina, and the second in Columbia (more background information can be found here).
Next stop: Columbia part 2.........we are going to take a tour of the area.