Elvis, Elton John, The Who, Stevie Wonder, The Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, The Eagles, The Gods, REM, Nine Inch Nails – even Middle Tennessee State University alumnus Chris Young – perform at the famous Charles M. Murphy Center.
Graduation parties, state basketball tournaments, and more took center stage at MTSU’s “The Glass House,” which opened in December 1972.
“This special place, The Glass House, is truly a wonderful building. Sidney A. McPhee, President of MTSU, said.” “It has been said that we often build buildings not only to hold things and people but also to reflect who we are – and what we value.” And when structures like Murphy Center go beyond the purpose of mere shelter or storage, they become essential.”
To celebrate the fiftieth anniversaryThe tenth Anniversary of the structure perched along Middle Tennessee Avenue, McVeigh coaches and administrators from Blue Raiders athletics and a host of supporters joined in to begin the year-round celebration of this achievement.
The start of the celebration showcased 33,000 square feet of dynamic glass panels “smart windows” that replaced the old panels, giving the building’s modern industrial design a sparkling new exterior. The panels automatically sparkle and shine in response to sunlight, eliminating the challenges of glare and heat within Murphy over the years and ensuring that the interior of the 11,500-seat plaza is cool and comfortable.
The glass replacement project, which took nearly two years from design to installation, required 16 delivery semi-trailers to deliver 1,300 pieces of SageGlass to be installed.
“This special place, The Glass House, is indeed quite a building. But it is so much more than that,” McPhee said. “It has been said that we often erect buildings not only to hold things and people but also to reflect who we are — and what we value. And when structures like Murphy Center transcend the purpose of mere shelter or storage, they become essential.”
McPhee also revealed samples of 17 large time plates featuring vintage photographs that will be installed around the Murphy Center plaza track that provide fans with a nostalgic, self-guided look into five decades of Murphy Center history.
The venue also serves as an academic facility, department offices, classrooms, and dance studios.
Elvis was in the building
Elvis played a series of five sold-out shows at the Murphy Center in 1974 and 1975. For two decades, the Murphy Center was the main indoor concert venue until what is now Bridgestone Arena opened in Nashville in 1996.
Then the city embraced him. “It was their arena, and it was not just our arena, it was the property of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County,” Ed Arning, former sports information director and current director of market development in Marketing and Communications, told the crowd at the anniversary launch event.