How Columbia Was Planned

Columbia Archives continues to mark the events leading up to Columbia’s founding with the opening of a new exhibit, “Columbia It Is! The Plan Revealed.”

An open house will be held Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Archives, 10227 Wincopin Circle in downtown Columbia in the American City Building. Registration is encouraged but not required. To register, go to

Nov. 11, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the day that James Rouse made the official presentation about the plan for Columbia in front of Howard County officials and residents. On that day, Rouse spoke of how the plan for Columbia came together during a year of intensive work by 20 staff members and more than 60 consultants, all of whom brought specialized knowledge of nearly every aspect of physical planning and community life in America.

“Columbia It Is! The Plan Revealed” captures that year of intensive work. The exhibit includes maps and diagrams, such as the first sketch of Columbia shown to Rouse; documents from the work group’s deliberations; correspondence and other original documents; and press coverage and public reaction to the plan.

The exhibit will continue until May 2015 and is free and open to the public. Columbia Archives is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is the third exhibit in the “Celebrating Columbia: 50 Years Ago Today” series, which traces the events leading up to Columbia’s official beginning on June 21, 1967. The series will conclude in June 2017, when the community celebrates its 50th birthday.

Columbia Archives, a service of Columbia Association (CA), collects and preserves the history of Columbia. The public is welcome to visit and spend time researching to get a deeper understanding of the history of Columbia. For more information, please go to or contact Archives staff at or 410-715-3103.

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