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Construction begins on Birthplace of Country Music museum!


Burwill employee Glenn Lambert builds doors and walls Wednesday inside the Birthplace of Country Music location. Photo by Earl Neikirk/Bristol Herald Courier
January 02, 2013
Check out this article BY DAVID MCGEE | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2012 11:46 pm | Updated: 11:13 pm, Tue Dec 25, 2012.

Construction has begun on the Birthplace of Country Music museum, some eight years and three months after the concept was initially unveiled.

A crew from BurWil Construction has started the first phase of what is expected to be about 17 months of work converting the former Goodpasture Motors building downtown into a state-of-the-art museum. Exhibits will recognize the Twin City’s musical heritage, the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings known as the “big bang” of commercial country music, and the impact those events had on many forms of popular music.

Officials of the nonprofit BCM, formerly known as the BCMA, spent much of the past decade raising more than $10 million needed to bring the project to life.

“It’s very exciting to know it really is under way and – I think by spring – you’ll see such a big difference because there will be so much going on,” BCM Executive Director Leah Ross said. “A lot of people have worked a long time on this and it’s really gratifying to see this come to fruition.”

Developer Steve Johnson donated the 24,000-square-foot, two-story building to the organization in the summer of 2004 and efforts to establish the museum commenced almost immediately. City and chamber officials have long championed the project as integral to boosting downtown revitalization by attracting tourists and school groups.

A study by the University of Virginia’s Weldon-Cooper Center for Public Service estimates that the museum could attract 75,000 annual visitors and generate about $49 million in economic impact in its first five years.

“This is a project we have followed for years and it is an honor to be part of the team to make it a reality,” construction company President Bill Prince said. “I feel like it will be a major economic boost to Bristol and the entire region.”

The first phase will include completing the building’s core and shell, Prince said.

“That includes the foundation, stairway towers, the slab, underground rough-in, some modifications to the structure, installing the exterior windows and completing the exterior,” Prince said. “Then we’ll begin the interior build-out.”

The structure is expected to be done in December 2013 and exhibits are to be completed and installed by late summer 2014.

“This is a major project for us and downtown. It’s a historical restoration and renovation similar to the train station or the Old Customs House. It’s unique and should be fun to do,” Prince said. “It’s a major and significant restoration of a historic structure.”

Peyton Boyd serves as the project architect, Joe Nicholson of Studio MUSarx in Philadelphia is the exhibit designer and Michal Carr of Hillmann & Carr of Washington D.C., is responsible for the audio-visual media component. They are working with a panel of historians and BCM board members to develop the themes and exhibits.

“Our design team was here last week working on the final design of the exhibits so we can get those drawings to BurWil,” Ross said. “You can build that building but if you don’t have something in there that really attracts people, they won’t come. That’s really the most important part.”

The building roof was replaced earlier, utilities are now in place, window arches have been reinforced and some brick work completed.

The museum is expected to open in August 2014.

dmcgee@bristolnews.com

(276) 645-2532

Downtown Bristol Blog

Beaver Creek Storytellers: Old Christmas Celebration at the Bristol Public Library

January 06, 2013
The Beaver Creek Storytellers invite the public to a celebration of Old Christmas, Sunday, January 6, 2012, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bristol Public Library, Bristol, VA. "Old Christmas" is January, 6, the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is Christmas on the Julian calendar used in England at the time settlers first came to the Appalachian Mountains. Mountain people visited neighbors for music and merrymaking during the long celebration from December 25 to January 6. Admission is free, but please consider a donation of $5.00 or bring 5 nonperishable food items to be donated to the local food pantry. Check our web page at http://bristolstorytellers.weebly.com for information on Old Christmas, January 6th.

Carol Stone Piano Studio presents THE PESKANOV PIANO FESTIVAL CONCERT

January 06, 2013
Carol Stone Piano Studio presents the annual Peskanov Piano Festival featuring Alexander Peskanov and students of Carol Stone on Sunday, January 6th at 3:00pm. This event provides a showcase for young, local talent playing with Mr. Peskanov in concert. The Peskanov Piano Festival is derived from the Piano Olympics event, which first took place in the winter of 1991 in Kingsport, Tennessee. It is based on the concept of collaboration with a concert artist, in preparation for a Festival performance of students and the artist himself. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

The Paramount Center for the Arts presents An Evening with Dailey and Vincent

January 05, 2013
Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent became the most heralded new act in the bluegrass music field in 2008, as their debut album and busy tour schedule introduced them to wildly appreciative audiences. They have a tireless love of singing, lifelong vocal experience in demanding ensembles, remarkable individual voices, and a talent for arranging. Show sharts at 8pm on January 5; tickets $22.00.

The Beaver Creek Storytellers at 606 State Street Gallery

January 03, 2013
The Beaver Creek Storytellers will be at 606 State Street Gallery on Thursday, January 3, 7-9:00 p.m.

Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery to Feature Twin City Photo Club in Exhibit in January & February


Pick Me by Briana Morris
January 03, 2013
The first exhibit of the New Year in the Bristol Public Library’s Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery will feature the Twin City Photo Club (TCPC) of Bristol, VA. Founded in 2007, the TCPC presently has about 30 members that share a love for photography. Members vary in expertise and backgrounds; some use point-and-shoot cameras while others have more professional DSLR cameras with a lot of equipment. In 2008, TCPC hosted their first Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Photography Competition with 88 entries. The number continues to grow each year with 224 entries this year. The club does several events with the community each year such as Believe in Bristol Pumpkin Palooza and Christmas Open House. For more information on TCPC, you can visit their website at www.twincityphotoclub.com. TCPC’s exhibit will be on display in the Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery January 3rd – February 27th, and they will host an opening reception for their exhibit on the 2nd level of the Library on January 5, 1-3p.m. The library is open Monday- Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday- Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
Click here to read more.

606 State Street Gallery: January Featured Artist is Linda Hamilton & Student Featured Artist is Lurah Lowry


Winter Landscape #2 by Linda Hamilton
January 02, 2013
The 606 State Street Gallery Featured Artist for January is Linda Hamilton. Linda specializes in watercolor landscapes, especially of southwest Virginia. Lurah Lowery, a photographer, will be the Student Featured Artist. Works by both artists will be on display until January 31st.

Upcoming Events

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Day Passes on Sale Now

December 06, 2012 - August 31, 2013

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Weekend Passes on Sale for $45

January 01 - May 31, 2013

606 State Street Jammers at 606 State Street Gallery in January

January 01 - 31, 2013

606 State Street Gallery: January Featured Artist is Linda Hamilton & Student Featured Artist is Lurah Lowry

January 01 - 31, 2013

January Storytime, Various Youth Activities, and the Nevermore Book Club at the Bristol Public Library

January 01 - 31, 2013

Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery to Feature Twin City Photo Club in Exhibit in January & February

January 03 - February 27, 2013

The Beaver Creek Storytellers at 606 State Street Gallery

January 03, 2013

SoundDrivers at O'Mainnin's Pub

January 04, 2013

Opening reception for Twin City Photo Club exibition at the Bristol Public Library

January 05, 2013

The Paramount Center for the Arts presents An Evening with Dailey and Vincent

January 05, 2013

Beaver Creek Storytellers: Old Christmas Celebration at the Bristol Public Library

January 06, 2013

Carol Stone Piano Studio presents THE PESKANOV PIANO FESTIVAL CONCERT

January 06, 2013

Open Jam at O'Mainnin's Pub

January 07, 2013

Big Gene and Danny Lee's Loud Park

January 11, 2013

January Ballroom Class at Bristol Ballet — Swing Dance!

January 11, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

January 11, 2013

The Honey Badgers with Darrel Webb at 620 State

January 12, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

January 12, 2013

Laura Thurston at O'Mainnin's Pub

January 17, 2013

James Meadows at State Line Bar and Grille

January 18, 2013

Roots of a Rebellion at 620 State

January 18, 2013

Barlow Gin at Machiavelli's

January 18, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

January 18, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

January 19, 2013

An Evening With Paul Thorn at Theatre Bristol: A Fundraiser for the Birthplace of Country Music

January 19, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

January 25, 2013

The Masters of Bluegrass at the Paramount

January 25, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

January 26, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 01, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 02, 2013

Buechner Institute Lecture by Michael Perry

February 04, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 08, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 09, 2013

Father and Daughter Dance at Bristol Ballet

February 10, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 15, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 16, 2013

Beer Tasting at Inari Wines

February 22, 2013

Wine Tasting at Inari Wines

February 23, 2013

Buechner Institute Lecture by Bonnie Thurston

February 25, 2013

Buechner Institute Lecture by Kenda Dean

March 11, 2013

Bela Fleck Benefit for Birthplace of Country Music Museum at the Paramount

April 06, 2013

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Weekend Passes on sale for $50

June 01 - August 31, 2013

More Upcoming Events »