Saturday, February 07, 2015

Huge! And this is just the outside...

I had to meet some people downtown last week, near where I grew up.

Had not walked around Ansonborough in a while so thought I'd go check out the construction going on nearby.

Walked up Anson Street, and looked across from what had been my K-6 school house at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Over there was a 3-story tenement when I was a kid. Later, those were torn down and Gaillard Municipal Auditorium rose on that site bounded by Anson, Calhoun and George Streets.

Now, for several years, that facility had been "under renovation."

Duh, seems to me, it had been removed completely and a new music hall and events center was going up in its place.

Appears it is surrounded by offices to which, I understand, the City plans to relocate a lot of employees.

They're scattered all over town so that seems like a wise use of newly-built space.

Hear the staff move-ins will happen before the final acoustic touches are made to the new cultural music center.

As you walk your way around the full-block structure, the future offices are easy to spot.

Almost makes me want to go back to work and have a nice space there.

But, no, being retired is the good life that I anticipated greatly and have enjoyed for almost 11 years!

But standing at this corner on George Street, I get my first glimpse of "the rest of the building!"


Rising tall on several high levels, I realize I had just been looking at the smaller aspects of this gigantic undertaking.

Fortunately, I was standing now by the adjacent parking garage and worked my way up to the 5th level, the rooftop.

Now the overall scope was more obvious.

What a spectacular view of this newest addition to the many assets of my hometown city.

I had gone away as a teenager to join the Marines. 

After many, many years, living in California, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota and Florida, I had found my way back to the Holy City about 20 years ago.

Looking down at the Calhoun Street entrance, with its still-wrapped columns, the grandeur and lofty aspirations became more clear to me.

I feel for the neighbors who have had to bear the noise and vibrations as the mighty edifice slowly rose.

I hope they are repaid that tedious period manyfold as they enter,marvel and enjoy this new jewel in the crown of Charleston culture.

I was greatly impressed as a soft breeze blew over me on the almost deserted rooftop of a welcome parking structure downtown.

When events start to happen her, the high-rise lot will be filled and people will lift their heads in pride as they enter this new palace to the arts.

Now, spectacular as this is, this was just and exterior view. Safety and construction limits access for the public to venture inside.

But, I had covered that several years ago by posing in front of a large, colorful sketch of what was to come.

It was hanging on the wall of the TD Arena and I thought ahead as to what I wanted to portray.

I was looking back at the camera as if I were seated in one of the proposed balconies.

This was before anything on site had popped up above ground.

I truly was "looking ahead" as I peered behind me.

The "seat" I had chosen afforded a good view of the stage and the overall panorama of a world-class music center.

Naturally I will be dressed up later this year when the finishing touches are done and we the public come inside to see what had been created.

On the site of tenements back in the 1950s, where I had delivered copies of the News & Courier newspaper half a century before.

Yes, I am glad that, after my travels here and overseas, I had returned to my Charleston roots.

You don't forget your home...complete with the scent of pluff mud.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

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At Sat Feb 21, 12:36:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories.


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