Our history

established in 1928

Russell Maxey Photograph Collection | 1940 | Courtesy of Richland Library

Russell Maxey Photograph Collection | 1940 | Courtesy of Richland Library

Claussen’s Bakery is significant for its contribution to the industrial and commercial development of Columbia. In addition, the design of the building is significant as an early instance in Columbia of the expression of a corporate image through architecture. The bakery was constructed in 1928 in Columbia for George Frederick Claussen. He was the grandson of Johann Christian Heinrich Claussen, a German immigrant who had established a steam bakery in Charleston in the nineteenth century.

During the first half of the twentieth century the family business was expanded and bakeries were built in Greenville, South Carolina, and in Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, as well as in Columbia. By 1940, Claussen’s was employing several hundred in the Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville bakeries. The Columbia bakery ceased operating in 1963. It is the only intact manifestation of this enterprise in the state. The two-story brick building, in its design and form, is a typical twentieth century commercial structure. It is trapezoidal in plan and contains a total of 25,000 square feet.

The architect adapted the building to its hillside site and railroad access. Listed in the National Register March 9, 1987.