New funds will help complete repairs to 144-year-old opera house in Leadville

The historic Tabor Opera House in Leadville received a grant on Nov. 8, 2023, to complete rehabilitation of the building's facade.
Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation/Courtesy photo

New funds will allow for final repairs to the facade of the Tabor Opera House, a historic opera house in Leadville, according to a news release from the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation.

Built in 1879, the Tabor House is being revitalized as a community hub for arts and culture. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded the preservation foundation $580,312 on Nov. 8 through a highly competitive matching grant process to complete the final repairs, the release states.

The rehabilitation project began in 2020 but as recent as 2016, Colorado Preservation Inc. had deemed the Tabor Opera House in danger of demolition by neglect, according to the news release.

Last year Colorado Preservation Inc. honored the preservation foundation with the Endangered Places Progress Award for its progress stabilizing the Tabor’s four exterior walls, the release states.

Once the exterior rehabilitation is complete, efforts will turn to the interior of the opera house, according to the news release. The preservation foundation plans to lead visioning, fundraising and construction efforts to turn the opera house into a community space, the release states.

The new funds will enable the preservation foundation to complete the front exterior of the building by 2025, including repairing the storefront windows, upper cornice and balcony, according to the new release.

The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation will provide the required match to the grant funds by tapping a State Historical Fund grant of $250,000, plus historic tax credits and individual donations, the release states.

After the exterior of the Tabor Opera House is rehabilitated with funds from a grant received Nov. 8, the preservation foundation will turn its focus to the building’s interior.
Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation/Courtesy photo

The Tabor Opera House turned 144 years old this year. The multiyear rehabilitation project is estimated to cost a total of $25 million. The historic building is open for shows and guided tours from late spring to early fall and invites guests to enjoy live music, theater, comedy, community events and more.

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“With the new DOLA funding,” Sarah Dae, the preservation foundation’s executive director, said, “we eagerly await the day when the last exterior brick is laid in place.”

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