Due to low enrollment and financial reasons, Greenbrier College closed its doors in May 1972. After the closure, Carnegie Hall became part of the Greenbrier Center, a facility for individuals with special needs. Rumors in the Lewisburg community swirled in the early 1980s that the building was going to be condemned and torn down. Realizing the historical significance of the building, several residents of Lewisburg founded Carnegie Hall, Inc. in 1983. Initially, the public was offered free performances in the historic building in an effort to renew a sense of interest in culture and history in the region. The first official performance season began in 1990.
The building was damaged by a fire on Christmas Eve 1996, and Carnegie Hall, Inc. undertook a massive renovation to restore the building--a project that took nearly a year to complete.
Today, artists from all over the world perform in Carnegie Hall’s Hamilton Auditorium. Notable performers include Grammy Award-winning artists such as Taj Mahal, Wynton Marsalis, and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea. As a 501(c)(3) Carnegie Hall, Inc. also provides year-round arts education and programming for youth and adults in Southern West Virginia. Carnegie Hall’s Mission Statement says, “Carnegie Hall, Inc. is committed to cultivating an appreciation for creativity and excellence in the arts. In partnership with the community, Carnegie Hall presents a broad and diverse range of programs that engage, entertain, and educate people of all ages and backgrounds and works to preserve the historic significance of the Hall.” Carnegie Hall has three gallery spaces and is the permanent home of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Visitors can explore the building alone or take a guided tour. Afterward, visitors can visit the Greenbrier Historical Society museum, which is housed in the North House (former home of Greenbrier College presidents) just across Academic Park from Carnegie Hall, or admire the Old Stone Church, the church that brought the Dr. Rev. McElhenny to Lewisburg.