Historic Cartersville building finds new life
by Neil McGahee
Oct 22, 2013 | 3165 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Gilreath Building, one of Main Street’s oldest buildings, will soon be resurrected as a downtown entertainment venue.

The circa 1879 building, for decades a hardware store, will feature live music and classic dancing.

“This building is even older than Young’s Pharmacy,” Joe Hollingshed said. “It has been around a long time.”

Hollingshed said it will be a place that draws an older, mature crowd, something he says is lacking in Cartersville.

“I want to offer classic dancing like ballroom, swing, big band and salsa,” he said, “and of, course, we will offer dance lessons.”

Hollingshed said he also plans to offer concerts featuring blues and bluegrass bands. He gave the building a taste of the future by allowing the bands participating in last week’s bluegrass festival to warm up before taking the stage.

Hollingshed said he doesn’t plan to make any changes that would affect the integrity of the historic hall. The walls are lined with the same wooden cubbyholes that once held small hardware items and a huge brass cash register covered in dust awaits the next customer.

“I held on to all the original stuff,” he said. “The ambience of the place is just amazing. I don’t want to do anything to destroy that.”

Hollingshed’s other plans include making the space available for wedding receptions and private parties, inviting theater groups like the Pumphouse Players to perform and opening the doors on Saturdays for local artisans to peddle their wares.

“One of the first things that will happen here is on Nov. 1,” he said. “First Friday, a musical event held the first Friday of every month by the Downtown Development Authority, will be held here. I expect quite a few bluegrass bands to participate.”