In the 1970s, the growth of state government jobs and light industry began to draw people from outside the midlands into Columbia. New generations of residents moved back into Downtown Columbia, and re-established a sense of civic pride.
The late 70s and early 1980s saw the disappearance of beloved Columbia landmarks, but a new vision for Columbia was taking shape, in the form of newly elected mayor, Kirkman Finley, Jr. He believed in a strong, stable economy, and his legacy is symbolized by both the Vista area, and Finlay Park. His vision represents a benchmark of what Columbia can yet achieve, moving into the future.