The original firehall was saved by local citizen input when the Classic Center Theatre and Convention Center project was born in the late 1990s. The renovated firehall was a crown jewel that acted as a connector from the theatre to the ballroom/exhibition hall. However, the space was underutilized and often served as a storage room for chairs and tables. The Classic Center administration collaborated and decided to convert the wide open and beautifully renovated room into the offices for the Athens Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Paul Cramer, the Executive Director prevailed upon local architect, David Matheny, AIA at Armentrout Matheny Thurmond, P.C. to offer solutions for adding several offices and a large conference room to this area without totally destroying the magnificence of the space. A unique installation of conventional sheetrock walls combined with glass dividers to preserve the view of the beautiful pressed tin-coffered ceiling worked around the prized fire pole. We celebrate the imagination used to repurpose this space and making it practical, but protecting the history of its original use as a firehall. This space also serves as a gallery and a museum of the history of the firehall.