AAA Editor Notes
South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St., is in the former Columbia Mills building. Built in 1894, the structure was one of the first totally electric textile mills in the world. Today this facility has four floors of hands-on exhibits, displays and items chronicling state history, industry and transportation as well as science and technology and natural history. The Lipscomb Art Gallery offers changing exhibits.
The cultural history exhibits showcase some 14,000 years of area history. The natural history exhibits feature dinosaur fossils and dioramas depicting the state's major habitats. Highlights include a 43-foot-long model of an extinct giant white shark and a life-size mastodon reconstruction. The Windows to the New Worlds facility includes an observatory, a planetarium and a 4-D theater. Four galleries feature changing exhibits.