The Cain Center for the Arts Cornelius, North Carolina

Anchoring the emerging Cornelius, NC and greater Lake Norman Region Arts District.

  • Location

    Cornelius, North Carolina

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    Town of Cornelius

  • Status


  • Size

    30,700 SF

Exceptional educational experiences for children and adults are provided within the center and on the 1.85 acre landscaped downtown site. A large paved plaza facing Town Hall and the designated Festival Street, Catawba Avenue, supports a wide range of community events.

Fronting on the last remaining early 20th century cotton mill, a shaped green space provides for civic, community, and arts presentations. Ample power for food trucks and lighting are features on the site. A sloping green lawn accommodates family seating and a platform with essential infrastructure hosts informal and staged performances.

The significant Cain Center interior space is a 400 seat flexible theater. The 36 by 75 foot stage can extend beyond the house curtain out into the seating area. Specially designed platforming allows more than proscenium type stage presentations. Informal cabaret, solo performers, community receptions and banquets, sales and rental events can be easily staged in the flexible space. Fold down seating provides adjustability in the orchestra level while 130 balcony seats remain fixed.

At both levels, support spaces surround the theater. A dance studio, classrooms, gallery, Board Room, and meeting spaces allow for full engagement in the arts. All interior spaces, except for the theater, look out to the Festival Street, formal plaza, and landscaped green space, linking the facility to the town center. The public private partnership programs ensure the Cain Center will serve as the hub of community entertainment and arts events. This cultural catalyst functions as a destination and supports surrounding community redevelopment.