Dream City: Wilde Lake, Then and Now
Our look at old newspaper advertisements from Columbia’s Archives.
In 1967, when Columbia was conducting a public relations campaign to promote the benefits of the brand new city, the Wilde Lake Village Green was one of its crowning jewels.
In newspaper advertisements, readers learned about the Giant Food supermarket in Columbia’s first village center, as well as its bank, book store, drug store, music shop, barbershop, dry cleaner, liquor store, candy store, cheese shop, beauty shop and service station, all open in the bustling neighborhood.
The drug store?
“Gone,” said Carole Black, special assistant at the Wilde Lake Community Association.
The music shop?
“Gone," she said.
No beauty shop or cheese shop either.
“It was really fun--they made good sandwiches and everything,” Black recalled.
The only original business from Wilde Lake’s beginning is the Anthony Richard Barber Shop, owned by Tony Tringali, who knew the swath of land that became Wilde Lake like only a child could.
“When I was a kid, I used to come back here and just run around, chase the cows or whatever we used to do. It was all farmland," he said last year of the Wilde Lake area. "Today, when I go through all the neighborhood, they are all tree-lined streets, and it's beautiful."
Today, the redevelopment of Wilde Lake is underway, an effort to breath life back into the area that has struggled since its anchor store, Giant Food, closed in 2006.
The firm Kimco, which owns the village center, wants the revamped Wilde Lake to have several buildings that would, in effect, encircle the center’s courtyard and a parking lot. Plans include two new residential buildings with as many as 250 total apartments and parking underneath; a drug store; a bank; a small food store with offices on the second story and renovations to two of the center’s existing retail and office buildings.
The site of the former grocery store and an adjacent building would be torn down, opening up one end of the courtyard and extending one entrance from Twin Rivers Road through the center to Cross Fox Lane.
What do you think needs to be done to bring Wilde Lake back to its former glory?
See other posts from "Dream City," Columbia Patch’s look at Columbia’s past and future.