History of the Westchester County Center
For nearly 80 years the County Center has been Westchester’s premier setting for thousands of concerts, trade shows, sports events, meetings, seminars, theatrical presentations, conventions and civic and community events.
The County Center was conceived by the Westchester Recreation Commission in 1924 as a multi-purpose indoor recreational facility to host community programs and income-producing commercial events to help sustain the Center financially. It was designed by the award-winning architectural firm of Walker and Gillette, and built and decorated in the classic Art Deco architectural style. The construction project was awarded to a local contractor and was completed at a cost of approximately $785,000.
On the weekend of May 22, 1930, the Westchester County Center Grand opening gala was held, attracting thousands from all over Westchester to hear such notable musicians as the pianist Percy Grainger, Metropolitan Opera Company tenor Edward Johnson, organist Palmer Christian and more than 1,500 local choral group performers. In the ensuing years, generations of County Center audiences have been treated to performances by such greats as Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, James Brown, Kenny Rogers, and John Sebastian, along with the Harlem Globetrotters and the Royal Hanneford Circus, one of the longest running events at the Center to date.
A $16-million rehabilitation completed in 1988, along with continuing updates and improvements, have resulted in a modern, state-of-the-art arena that is ready for many years of service to the community.