Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Park shelter reservations
Registration for classes, sports, activities
General community information
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
The Gentry Building was constructed in 1906 as a post office, a purpose it served until 1936 when it was sold to the City of Columbia to operate as a library. Since that time it has seen many occupants: Columbia Public Library (1938-1970); Columbia Water & Light Department (1971-1976); Columbia Parks & Recreation and Human Resources (1976-2006). On Oct. 29, 1977, the former post office building was dedicated in honor of Ann Hawkins Gentry who served as postmistress from 1838 to 1865.
The Gentry Building underwent renovation in June 2006. The Parks and Recreation Department temporarily relocated to the Daniel Boone Building during the construction. Work on the Gentry Building is part of a master plan that involves renovation of city downtown office space to increase operational efficiency and public access; correct code issues while recognizing the historic sensitivity of the buildings; update mechanical and electrical systems to improve building energy use; and centralize city operations in a downtown government complex. The cost of building renovation was approximately $900,000. The contractor was United HRB General Contractors Inc., of Jefferson City, Mo.
The Parks and Recreation Department moved back into the renovated Gentry Building on November 7, 2006. Before the remodeling, the Parks and Recreation Department shared the building with Human Resources (relocated to the renovated Howard Building); post remodeling the Department shared the building with Volunteer Services and Cultural Affairs. The Gentry Building, along with the Howard Building, was formally rededicated May 8, 2007.
Volunteer Services and Cultural Affairs have since moved to other locations, and beginning in 2012 Parks and Recreation shares the building with Risk Management.