Oscar Wilde once stood on this stage – now Leadville is working to preserve it

Matt Renoux has a look at big renovations coming to the Tabor Opera House.

LEADVILLE - Along Main Street Leadville, Stephanie Spong with the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation Board is walking through one of Colorado’s most historic buildings looking at what needs to be fixed.

"This is the Tabor Opera House,” she said. “It was the center for social life in Leadville.”

The Tabor Opera House was built in 1879 by Horace Tabor during Leadville's silver boom days, and it still stands in Leadville. Its stage has seen some of the biggest names in American history.

"I mean Oscar Wilde lectured on this stage," Spong said.

It's a long history, but over the years, it’s gotten so rundown it was almost turned into a parking lot. It was saved only after Evelyn Furman bought it.

Today it's in danger again, with many parts of the building falling apart. The city of Leadville bought the building for $600,000 using grant money. They are working to find another pile of money to restore it.

"We’re about to start a 10 year, $10 million restoration project -- and are looking for donors who want to help," Spong said.

The town even held an election, with 700 residents voting for how the building should be used.

"We got everything from battle of the bands to opera to live theater and music and bands," Spong said.
These are all ideas Stephanie likes as work starts to write the next chapter for one of Colorado’s most historic landmarks.

"We’re just starting visioning and imaging of what it could be," Spong said. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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