CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A replica of the bell used to open the Charleston Market more than 200 years ago rang as loud as it could Sunday. It signified the beginning of the end of a three year renovation project on the city's market.
"To get to this point and now to have it finally become a reality," said renovator Steve Vern. "It's just unbelievable."
Vern's life over the last 36 months has been dedicated to the $5.5 million market upgrade.
"We basically gutted this building," he said. "We left the bones of it that were historic but big significant things are skylights of course and its [air] conditioned now."
A feature that separates the Great Hall and its 20 vendors from the other market street buildings.
"I think everyone is like a big family here," says Great Hall newcomer Neely Powell
Powell owns the Charleston Shoe Co. and says the renovators vision to incorporate the old building and modify historic architecture worked perfectly.
"They've put their heart and soul into this building and it totally shows," says Powell. "All the detail and all the craftsmanship that went into this entire space... It's amazing."
The space that was packed with more than 300 people Sunday afternoon. A day that Mayor Joe Riley dedicated Historic Charleston City Market Day through a letter that was read aloud.
Vern says not one cent of the $5.5 million dollar project was paid with tax payer money.
The market opens first thing Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. and will stay open until 7 p.m. at night, seven days a week.