The Peace Center has revised its plans for the restoration of the Wyche Pavilion and will return to the City of Greenville’s Design Review Board July 9 during a special session.
The DRB typically recesses during July but has called the session specifically to discuss the Wyche project and The McClaren mixed-use project proposed for the West End.
The July 9 meeting at 4 p.m. in City Hall follows a public hearing in February, where the Design Review Board provided feedback on the proposed project. Based on those recommendations and further meetings with members of the city and Design Review Board, the design was updated to make the expansion more subordinate to the existing Wyche Pavilion, while preserving the elements required to transform the Wyche into a fully functioning music and entertainment venue.
“The Peace Center and its design team have worked collaboratively with the Design Review Board and city staff to successfully modify the plans for the Wyche,” said Peace Center President and CEO Megan Riegel. “Together we’ve found solutions to enhance the public park along the river from Broad Street to Falls Park and at the same time preserve and activate one of our privately owned buildings. These efforts will greatly enhance the park, stimulate activity along the banks of the Reedy River, and allow for the continued fulfillment of the Peace Center’s mission. We look forward to a time when the Wyche reaches its full potential, offering year-round concerts, community engagement programs, lectures, and events of all kinds.”
The design by Summerour and Associates retains the 3,578-square-foot iconic shell of the Wyche Pavilion. Riegel and members of the Peace Center board have argued the addition of custom-made windows and doors, wood floors and ceilings, fans, architectural lighting, and HVAC will allow for year-round use.
The enclosure of the pavilion will mean it is no longer publicly accessible in the same way it is now. At the February DRB, Riegel said the Peace Center would consider how to allow the public to use the space once it is enclosed.
The Wyche will be outfitted as a fully functioning performance venue, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment. The open floor plan allows for a variety of performance configurations, from cabaret to concert-style seating, to standing-room-only club space.
The full footprint of the original building (circa 1835), which is much larger than the existing Wyche Pavilion, will be used for an addition to house the infrastructure required to support the venue. This new structure includes a glass entryway, a Green Room for artists, restrooms, storage and equipment rooms, and a catering kitchen.
Features of this project include a large outdoor deck connecting to a walkway that cantilevers from the Wyche along the river, and a large gathering space facing Main Street, both of which will be open to the public.
The landscaping, by Earth Design, will feature environmentally friendly plantings chosen to evolve with each season.
“As the Peace Center’s vision has evolved, activity on the campus has expanded as well,” said Lynn Harton, Peace Center board chairman and CEO of United Community Bank. “In addition to the wonderful Broadway shows and concerts showcased in the Peace Concert Hall, there is continuous activity throughout the campus. The Peace Center hosts songwriters, local performing artists, summer camps, a poetry program for students and adults, music education salons, film, student jazz performances, and much more. The board of the Peace Center is excited to see the iconic Wyche Pavilion restored and expanded to become another outstanding performance venue that will benefit the entire community.”
The Wyche restoration is the first phase of the Peace Center’s larger master plan, which includes renovation of the Roe Coach Factory and two buildings located on Main Street: the Markley and the Gullick.