The Cannon Centre opens Thursday with a $50 ticketed event and Sunday's free dedication and tours. The deck adds a view toward the gazebo, pond and city park's playground.
This is the view from the lobby to inside the hall where events and performances will be held.
A full service kitchen is available to serve light refreshments or meals.
The renovated and polished hall was only an imagination in years past with a termite-destroyed portion of the wooden floor. Broken windows, bikes, a wheelchair and piles of rubbish awaited city staff during the initial cleanup phase.
Describing the condition of the building when the city first started looking into renovating it, Bill Mork, facilities manager said, “The windows were all broken out. There was an old wheelchair in front of the window here from a haunted house event, and old leftover equipment. It was a bit like a dusty old time capsule.” Termites had destroyed a portion of the wooden floor, and dead rodents were found. There was a lot of work to be done, but the city planners and those involved in the renovation could see the building’s potential.
The building was first a National Guard Armory built in 1936. In 1983 the city purchased it and it became the Cannon Street Gymnasium. The Parks and Recreation department used it for basketball leagues, and the city used it for a variety of training exercises, including police physical fitness training. In 2006 the city closed the building, and it quickly fell even further into disrepair.
The building’s $1.1 million renovation began a year ago and it was christened the Cannon Centre upon its completion, named to honor the history of the building. The land that the building sits on, and the land of Greer City Park, was originally owned by David Cannon, who was one of the original council members for the city in the late 1800s.
Steve Owens, the City of Greer Communications Manager, gave a tour of the building.
The Cannon Centre is home for the City’s Parks and Recreation department and has an office for Greer Cultural Arts. Multi-use rooms are available for the use of Parks and Recreation and for the public to rent. The main part of the building is also available for events, and features the original brick, which was sandblasted to its original state, and modern finishes, windows, lighting, and full Blu-ray sound system.
The lobby provides a window for access to the full kitchen and also serves as a ticket counter for events. A deck was added as a focal point for the building, and will provide access to views of the park and be available for people to use at events. “It’s just amazing, the transformation,” Owens said. “And I think we’ll see that the building serves even more purposes than we originally imagined it would.”
There will be entertainment, refreshments and tours. Owens shared an engaging video detailing before and after photos of the transformation and historic photos of the building as it served its different purposes. The video will be shown at the dedication and will be made available online afterwards.