On October 19th, 2000 the Black Mountain Center for the Arts opened its doors to the public for the first time. The people of the Swannanoa Valley wanted an art center for their community so badly that they spent years fundraising and working to make their dreams come true. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located in Black Mountain’s former City Hall building. The almost century old building has a rich history, which combined with the history of the arts center, weaves a beautiful tapestry of the past, present, and future of Black Mountain. The timeline below outlines notable milestones of the City Hall building and BMCA.
1927 The building is constructed, and starts housing the Black Mountain Police Department and the Black Mountain Library
1937 The building welcomes the Chamber of Commerce
1940’s The Red Cross and Western Union Telegraph offices move in
1968 The Black Mountain Library moves to its current building on North Dougherty
1971 The Black Mountain Police Department moves to another location. The jail is in need of repair but the town board decides to move rather than pay for repairs
1990 The building sits vacant
1995 The building was purchased to save it from demolition thanks to a motivated group of art-loving community minded citizens who started the process of fundraising and applying for non-profit status to create the Black Mountain Center for the Arts
1996 Raleigh architect Steven Shuster of Clearscapes and Asheville architect Steve Farrell of Farrell+Hargrove were hired to renovate of the building
2000 BMCA opened its doors for the first time
2008 The old town garage behind BMCA was renovated into a Clay Studio
Today in the building...
what was once the town library is a gallery space, what was the location of town council meetings is now a theatre that seats over 80 audience members for concerts and plays, former sleeping quarters for firefighters now hosts many weekly dance classes in a large dance studio, and what was once the town jail is now a visual art studio. The Black Mountain Center for the Arts has been following its mission of “bringing arts to the people and people to the arts” for 20 years, and will continue to do so for many years in the future. Join us as we celebrate this important milestone!
Below are four articles written about the history of the building at 225 W. State Street and of the evolution of BMCA. Click through to read them for in-depth information on our past, present, and future.