Centennial Hall deconstruction well under way

centennialdestructStopped by the site this morning, and this is what I saw. Somewhere under that heap, I believe close to the spot where the rubble peaks, my wife and I cut up the dance floor to a Shane MacGowan/Sinead O’Conner duet and cut the cake to Def Leppard. The Irish whiskey at the open bar was the first to go, and my wife’s father and her uncle (Carl Nolte of the S.F. Chronicle) both complained that my rube friends drained it without the appreciation it deserves. We didn’t have the main hall — that was being used for the wedding reception of a preacher’s daughter, and it was a dry event. We ran into some of the wedding party in the parking lot outside, mixing drinks at an impromptu bar set up in someone’s trunk. Good times, sort of a bummer to see the place torn down, but I still got the memories and photographs.

Eric Kurhi

  • Eric Kurhi

    While we’re all feeling nostalgic, anyone else have any memories they want to share of the old Centennial Hall?

  • qodrn

    I don’t know about memories although I enjoyed a number of shows there and rented out space. I still don’t understand why the building that broke duringthe earthquake is still standing and the old buildng that did just fine was torn down.

  • Fred Sandsmark

    Of all things, what I remember most are the protests that accompanied the first few Gay Proms held at Centennial Hall. I’m glad the fuss over that benign and big-hearted event has mostly faded away. I wonder where it will be held now.

    I’ve gone to several events, from Chamber of Commerce gatherings to memorial services to dances to band rehearsals, at the Hall over the years; I’m sad to see it go, especially as it is one of the last remnants of Old Hayward High. I’m glad to know (through a previous HayWord) that the Wiley murals are safe.

    P.S. Fun to learn that you’re from a newspaper family (by marriage), Eric. Your uncle-in-law is one of my favorites at the Chron.

  • Alex

    I remember my first field trip was to the Rock & Gem show at Centennial Hall in 3rd grade. We walked from Markham School to there.

    A few friends & I passed by the other day, feels differnet with nothing there.

  • Eric Kurhi

    I don’t suppose anyone else went to what I believe was the first and last metal (music) show at C-Hall, back in 1989? Turned into a near riot, my friend was punched in the face by some guy with no front teeth who was wearing a swastika T-shirt, windows got broken, HPD in riot gear busted it up and as we ran away, guys on top of the parking structure rained bottles down upon us. Karen Holzmeister wrote an article about it, check it out:

  • qodrn

    Karen wrote about everything.

  • Michael Moore

    Eric, good of you to Lazarus this and provide new life to the problem of places for concerts. This explains why the Bal is having so many issues in San Leandro. Good job.

  • Brian B

    I’m this really sad to see the old place go. I used to work the coat check at Chamber of Commerce events there along with the art club from Hayward High, and I was at a few of the Hayward-Con comic book conventions.

  • I remember filling the main room with students and families during the Martin Luther King celebrations.