Save America's Treasures $500,000 Grant Awarded

Tabor Opera House Rehabilitation Project Momentum Grows

Monday, September 24, 2018

Leadville, Colorado

The City of Leadville and the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation (TOHPF) announced the award of $500,000 from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Historic Preservation Fund competitive grant program.

The Federal Save America’s Treasures (SAT) program grants provide preservation assistance to nationally significant historic properties. This $500,000 award will go toward the first construction phase of the Tabor Opera House $8 to $10 million rehabilitation project. This $1.5 million Phase 1 will address the west and south facades of the building, rehabilitating masonry and windows in exterior walls, and capping chimneys to secure the building’s exterior and prevent further deterioration.  

The Foundation is currently working on raising the remaining $1 million needed to complete the work on this $1.5 million Phase 1. Leadville’s Main Street program and the Tabor Opera House have been designated one of 20 national finalists in the Partners in Preservation national awareness campaign, competing to win $150,000 toward Phase 1 construction work.

The TOHPF recently announced the successful raising of $316,000 for a year-long Architecture and Engineering project to deliver drawings and construction documents to govern the entire interior and exterior rehabilitation of the building. Partners on this project include the Colorado State Historical Fund, the National Park Service’s Heritage Partnerships Program, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Trail 100 Legacy Foundation, the Leadville Literary League, Lifetime Fitness leaders and friends, the Leadville Arts Coalition, and many other local donors. This project kicks off in September 2018.

The Tabor Opera House, a contributing building to Leadville’s National Historic Landmark District around downtown, has also earned designations on the Colorado Preservation Inc’s “Most Endangered Places” list and the NTHP’s “National Treasures” list. Under imminent threat of demolition through neglect, the opera house is in a race against time and entropy as deferred maintenance, weather, crumbling bricks, water, and fire risk threaten this long-neglected historic treasure.

This national icon is also beloved locally, continuously in use as a community events center since it was first built in 1879. The TOHPF has offered two seasons of public cultural events since taking over from the previous private owners, with events including opera, live community theater, rock, blues, jazz, flamenco dance, ballet, Irish folk music and a hip-hop dance workshop for local youth. During the summer season, tour guides welcomed 2,000 paid interactive tour visitors.


Tabor OperaHouse