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BUILDING HISTORY: Brooklyn Arts Center

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With its soaring, 50-foot cathedral ceilings, original brick and plaster walls and stained glass windows, it is an impressive venue. The Brooklyn Arts Center started as a church in 1888 and is now home to weddings, concerts and much more.

Originally a spiritual home for a congregation in Wilmington, the Brooklyn Arts Center is now a spirited home to many events.

"We do all kinds of events," Executive Director Richard Leder said. "We do weddings, concerts, fund raisers, flea markets, art shows. Anything that requires a huge, gorgeous, elegant, romantic space, BAC is perfect."

The Brooklyn Arts Center has a long and outstanding Wilmington history. It was founded in 1888 for the St. Andrews Congregation, which had been in Wilmington already for many years.

Getting it to the venue it is now was a major job for the developer who took on the project in June 2010.

"Total disrepair," Leder said. "It looked like a weapon, a nuclear weapon had gone off in there, mostly caused by (Hurricane) Fran, but also caused by neglect for years. The city had saved the building with a steel super structure inside, and they had put on a new roof and fixed the front wall, but it was all boarded up and had been abandoned for many years."

But now the old church is alive with new fixtures and sound and the old house, which makes a perfect addition for events.

"This is the church manse," Leder said. "It was the home of Rev. McClure for St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. It was built in 1910. Gorgeous home, and we use it as a room for brides."

And just in case you're wondering, yes, the BAC is available. Want to check the schedule?

"Please call me," Leder said. "This is one of the most gorgeous places to have a wedding, not just in Wilmington, but anywhere in the southeast. Beautiful, romantic, historic. We do fabulous weddings here."

The Brooklyn Arts Center would love to book your wedding. It also has a great schedule of music events coming up, everything from Bluegrass to soul to the Marshall Tucker Band. For details check their web site.

If you know of a great old building with a story to tell, please let Chris Phillips know at cphillips@wwaytv3.com.

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