The Aiken Standard Sign

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Such an exciting discovery! Prior to any further work on the Pascalis block, the City did appropriate “due diligence” to see what remains behind the metal facade on the Taj Aiken building. They found the sign for the old Aiken newspaper, Standard and Review, painted on to the brick. The Standard and Review resulted from the 1935 merger of the Journal and Review with the Aiken Standard, the two newspapers of the time. The Journal and Review goes back to the late 1800s and is one of our best sources for the history of Aiken at that time.

Shortly after the City announced in January the possibility of a new project on that block, the Historic Aiken board developed a position regarding the potentially affected properties – the Hotel Aiken, the Palmetto Block (currently home to Vampire Penguin and Ginger Bee), the Johnson-McGhee Building, Warneke Cleaners, and the former Aiken Journal and Review building (now Taj Aiken). We notified the City of our position and posted it on our website (see “Pascalis Block Historic Buildings” under “Positions”). Our position noted that the five properties, including the former Aiken J&R building, are listed by the State Historic Preservation Office as contributing to the historic character of the district. We further stated, “The façade of the Aiken Journal & Review building has been significantly altered, and further expert evaluation is required to determine whether enough of the original fabric of the building remains to justify its designation as contributing. HAF’s position is that, per the City’s ordinances, all contributing historic buildings must be preserved and cannot be demolished.” This is all in accordance with preservation guidelines.

We are glad that the evaluation is underway. Go down and see the sign for yourself!