Peace Center celebrates 25 years

From WYFF Greenville

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On November 19, 1990, what is now South Carolina’s largest art center opened its doors.

Peace Center transformed downtown Greenville in the 90s.

On Thursday night, a woman who made it all possible was honored in a special way.

“In honor of Betty Stall for a vision that transformed Greenville,” said Peace Center President Megan Riegel.

Peace Center butterfliesTwo hundred stainless steel butterflies now shine on the south side of Peace Center Concert Hall, all to honor Betty Peace Stall, who Riegel said made the performing arts center possible.

“She truly went every step of the way developing the Peace Center,” said Riegel.

Riegel said much like the transformation of a butterfly, Betty’s vision transformed Greenville.

“It’s so exciting to see what it has done for Greenville and to look around us and to see the beautiful things that have sprung up, and the Peace Center being at the heart of it,” said Stall.

Before the development of Peace Center, Stall said that area of town was not a place you’d want to go.

“It was a neglected part of town where you didn’t want to be caught after dark,” said Stall.

This section of South Main was littered with rundown buildings, but after Peace Center opened its doors restaurants, shops and hotels started popping up.

“Across the river here was nothing but fields of kudzu and look at it now.  You’ve got million-dollar condominiums across the street,” said Riegel.

Riegel said in the last 25 years, Peace Center has become the hub of cultural life in the Upstate.

“It is a magnificent, magical place,” said Riegel.

Riegel said you can expect even more in the next 25 years.