GTV-15, the City of Greenville Television
On September 6, 2012, the City of Greenville posted a video on GTV-15, the city’s YouTube channel, showing the ceremony which took place on August 23, 2012 to dedicate the new Riverplace Bell Tower and Carillon to Tommy Wyche.
Mayor Knox White was joined by representatives from Hughes Development Corporation, Hughes Investments Inc., the Daniel-Mickel Foundation and the Arts in Public Places Commission, as well as elected officials, community and business leaders, family members and friends for a ceremony to dedicate the new bell tower and carillon at RiverPlace. The tower structure was dedicated in honor of Tommy Wyche, who was selected because of his love of music and lifelong support of downtown Greenville. Organizers concluded the ceremony by playing the bells for the first time, including a song written by Wyche.
The 25 bells of the carillon float within a simple structure of three painted steel columns, the tallest of which is 54 feet. At the foot of the tower is a continuously flowing water feature. The open structure of the bell tower preserves the direct view through the RiverPlace courtyard to the river and to the city beyond. The design and location of the bell tower and carillon were approved by the City’s Arts in Public Places Commission and the former Design and Preservation Commission.
According to Mayor White, for decades, Wyche has been instrumental in transforming downtown Greenville, not only from an economic development standpoint, but also as a champion of the arts. Wyche served as the first chairman of Greenville’s original arts festival and played key roles in such significant developments as the Heritage Green campus, Greenville Commons, the Peace Center and the Governor’s School for the Arts. Wyche also spent 25 years accumulating the property where RiverPlace now stands, fulfilling his vision of an artist-friendly mixed-use development along the Reedy River.
The carillon for the tower was gifted by Harry and Peg van Bergen, who were also in attendance, as a memorial to the acclaimed van Bergen bellfounding family.