Two abandoned fire- and water-damaged warehouses on a historic street were given new life as a landmark premier country music dance club. Although only some original quoins and stone thresholds were salvageable, the two buildings were melded as one to maintain the integrity of the neighboring structures. Today, the venue is not only a famous dance club, but also a performance hall, restaurant, and state-of-the-art television production facility.
The original mid-19th century appearance, details, and scale of the façade were recreated to blend the building into its neighborhood of similar structures. Once inside, however, the building is thoroughly modern. The facility features a 3,300 square foot dance floor; two horseshoe-shaped balconies overlooking the floor with table seating, bars, and food service; a 30-foot by 75-foot production proscenium stage, and plenty of technological sophistication. It is also equipped with complete built-in television production facilities and 35 miles of cables that snake invisibly throughout.
A 15-foot by 22-foot-high definition television screen broadcasts country music videos or images of live performers or dancers. Commissioned art focuses on galloping horses, the saloon’s motif, while customized floor tiles whirl in a bandana pattern, emulating the venue’s toe-tapping dancers.
Photos © Norman McGrath