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Jul 11, 2012 2:16 PM

After nearly 16 years, Manning House closes as event center

TUCSON- After nearly 16 years, a Tucson staple known for hosting everything from wakes to weddings is closing its doors today.

"I think with all the downsizing going on and the economy in recession, we just don't quite make enough money to be able to sustain everything," Manning House CEO Colleen Concannon says.

The 37,000 square foot event center is now selling for the bargain price of $67 per square foot.

Tucked away off Granada Avenue in downtown Tucson, the Manning House was originally home to the city's prominent Manning Family in 1907.

Since then the building has taken on many different uses, from the Elks Lodge to office buildings. "It had been an office building for a number of years and so it was kind of lost, people didn't really know it was here," Concannon says.

Then in 1997 Concannon's family bought the building, turning it into one of Tucson's most popular event centers. "It has really been the whole gamut, from every kind of meeting you can imagine, to weddings, to reunions," Concannon says.

The inside is filled with antique furniture. The outside is a picturesque mansion. "It's so sad," Wedding Photographer Leslie Nichols says.

Over the years Nichols has been to her fair share of events at the Manning House. "I've just taken some beautiful pictures here and I hate to see it go away," Nichols says.

But after years of trying to find the perfect buyer, Concannon knew it was time to let go and hope for the best. "Things just have to go on and sometimes you just have to accept that's what's going to happen," Concannon says.

Starting July 20 there will be a series of yard sales at the Manning House where you can buy some of the furniture from inside. The sales will take place from 7am to noon and will run until all the furniture is sold out.

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