The Historic Ensor Building

The Ensor Building is a 7,200 sf adaptive reuse project completed in early 2018 and steps away from the thrill of baseball. Ensor is home to truematter, a User Experience Strategy and Design Firm, and Bone-In Barbeque, a culinary venture by acclaimed chef Scott Hall.

Bone-In Barbeque is a departure from the typical Southern BBQ restaurant – with relaxed indoor seating and a spacious outdoor patio that extends out on the ballpark plaza.

As a historic building, Ensor stands in juxtaposition and adjacent to the Fireflies Baseball Stadium. This 2-story historic renovation by Hughes Development Corporation, Buchanan Construction Services and Studio 2LR Architecture has approximately 3,600 square feet on each floor.

The second floor has been restored and repurposed into office space, while the first floor has been converted into downtown Columbia's premier destination for BBQ, artisan cocktails and outdoor dining.

Bone-In Barbeque

The roll-up garage doors and large outdoor patio at Bone-In Barbeque make for a perfect place for guests to meet up for a local beer or craft cocktail before and after games. At 3,600 square feet, the casual dining restaurant features a sizable bar with a formidable cocktail program – a departure from the typical Southern BBQ restaurant – with relaxed indoor seating and a spacious outdoor patio that extends out on the ballpark plaza. A private dining room accommodates 15-30 guests for intimate group dinners, small receptions and business meetings.

“This is a unique opportunity to be in the heart of BullStreet, where we can offer guests a comfortable environment combined with a delightful, unassuming culinary experience,” says Chef Scott Hall, owner of Bone-In Barbeque. “The BullStreet District is a new frontier, and our guests are involved in a first-of-its-kind adventure here at its first restaurant..”


The Ensor building is a small, neoclassical brick building on the northern side of the BullStreet site. Architects Lafaye and Lafaye designed and constructed this building to be a multifunctional and progressive new addition to the State Hospital campus during the mid twentieth century, with the primary function to be a research laboratory. The architectural style also communicates a lot about Ensor’s role in the historical significance of the State Hospital. The neoclassical style of the building itself demands attention. The western elevation includes four brick pilasters with Doric style plinths and capitals. A rounded arch tops the front door.

Also, brick pilasters line the southern facing elevation. The style echoes that of the Williams Building and demonstrates the resurgence of this American architecture during this time between the Great Depression and World War II.

This style portrays hope, knowledge, and truth, aspects that define the future Ensor Research Foundation that would inhabit the building. The structure has a sturdy, weighty quality, and even though it is not very large, it communicates strength and endurance. Furthermore, the building’s style contrasts its neighbor to the south, the Babcock Building. Babcock’s Victorian style represented hope and magnificence during its time of construction, however, the Kirkbride planned building that experts were so sure of in the nineteenth century, represented everything that did not work in the treatment of mental illness by the 1930s. Learn more about the Ensor Building here.