We’ve published a lot of photos of The Spire Center for the Arts since the Independent launched last November. In most of them, the downtown venue has been shrouded in scaffolding and green mesh as it underwent a much-needed renovation. Over the years, the building, especially its steeple – more than 100 feet above the sidewalk – had fallen into disrepair. Inside, the arts were flourishing, but based on the exterior view, unknowing passersby likely thought otherwise. The work began in May of last year and is expected to be wrapped up in about a month.

But now the great unveiling is underway – the construction equipment is coming down, revealing a meticulously restored façade that makes The Spire look both new and old at once, and features the 1886 building’s original color scheme.

It began as a Methodist church and later served as a synagogue before being converted into a performing arts space a decade ago.

Bob Hollis, president of the nonprofit that was started in 2010 to make the transformation happen, has called it “an ugly duckling.”

“The outside didn’t look too good,” Hollis said in January, “but the inside was beautiful.”

But it’s ugly no more.

On Sunday, Hollis and others celebrated as the project nears the finish line. The Community Preservation Committee hosted an open house that, of course, featured live music, and the opportunity for a close up look at the work that has been down inside and out. (The money to repair and repaint the exterior came from $3.6 million in Community Preservation funds.)

Hollis said the remaining work includes painting and carpentry where the scaffolding was located, along with the installation of more molding.

“But the frosting on the cake is a beautiful gold leaf weathervane on top of The Spire and roof cresting on top of the main roof,” he said.  

Photographer Wes Ennis was on hand Sunday to capture the scene at what is without doubt the new visual centerpiece of Plymouth’s downtown.

Mark Pothier can be reached at mark@plymouthindependent.org.

Restoration of the building’s stained-glass windows was part of the project. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
Bill Keohan, chair of the Community Preservation Committee (left), and Spire president Bob Hollis at Sunday’s open house. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
Volunteer usher Lori Leveckis blows bubbles during Sunday’s event. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
Mark T. Small performs during the open house at The Spire. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
Kelly Cummings takes a picture in the performance area. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
Some of the people behind The Spire pose for a photo on Sunday. From left: the nonprofit’s president, Bob Hollis, lighting director Woody Bavota, lead sound tech Ed McBee, board member Donna Hollis, director of marketing and operations Dot McDonough, front-of-house manager Byron Davis, and director of engagement Katelyn R. Begley. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
One more view of The Spire’s detailed paint work. Credit: (Photo by Wes Ennis)
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