Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation offices now in McAdenville

Pharr building being renovated for new Riverkeeper headquarters

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Ready to break ground for Dynamo 31 are (from left) Luke Nelson representing contractor Myers-Chapman, Diana Myers of CL Helt Architects, Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones, Riverkeeper Foundation board member Bob Webb, Executive Director John Searby, board member Shirley Greene, Pharr Companies CEO Bill Carstarphen and McAdenville Mayor Jim Robinette.        (Photo by Elaine Dimeo)

Ground broken for Dynamo 31 building renovation 

Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Pharr Companies and Town of McAdenville representatives broke ground on June 15, 2021, for an office building renovation that will become home to the Riverkeeper organization, which has moved its headquarters from Charlotte to McAdenville.  

The Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce helped coordinate the ground-breaking ceremony on the lake across from Spruced Goose Station in downtown McAdenville at 102 Main Street.

During construction, the organization’s offices are housed in The Boathouse at the South Fork Trail and R.Y. McAden Canoe & Kayak Launch on Willow Drive in McAdenville.

Riverkeeper Foundation Executive Director John Searby spoke at the groundbreaking about the excitement generated by the organization realizing its founders’ vision to have a headquarters located along the river.

The foundation was formed in 1997 to help preserve and protect 8,900 miles of waterways in the Catawba-Wateree River Basin.

Pharr Companies CEO Bill Carstarphen spoke about the Riverkeeper partnership resulting in the Pharr building renovation. The building will be called Dynamo 31, recognizing the 1873 installation by inventor Thomas Edison of his hydroelectric generator known as dynamo number 31 in the McAden Mill, making it the first textile mill in the Southeast (possibly first in the world) to have electric lighting, Carstarphen said.

When completed, Dynamo 31 will house the Riverkeeper administrative offices, classroom space, a retail shop, a taproom and a large deck with views of the water.

Also taking part in the ceremony were McAdenville Mayor Jim Robinette and Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce President Marc Jordan.

For more information on the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, visit www.catawbariverkeeper.org, or call 704.679.9494. 

Rendering shows how the Pharr Companies building will look after renovation. Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation will be the first tenant. It's across the street from Spruced Goose Station.

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