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Tabor Opera House getting first major restoration in more than 100 years

Scaffolding is up and work is underway to save the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, one of Colorado’s most historic buildings.

LEADVILLE, Colo. — The Tabor Opera House in Leadville has stood the test of time, but time is wearing on the old building. 

It was built in 1879 but the historic theater hasn’t had major restoration work done to it since 1902 and architect Kris Hoehn said it’s starting to show.

“The weather in Leadville is extreme,’ said Hoehn. "The windows have not been painted for a long time and so you can see the deterioration of the wood.”

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For years, plans have been drawn up to save the historic opera house and now Tabor Foundation President Mary Ann Graham-Best said a combination of public and private funds have been put together to start the first phase of that work. 

“This is the first one and we are very excited to get this kicked off,” said Graham-Best.

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The first phase of work is a 1.5-million-dollar project to restore much of the outside of the Tabor by replacing or fixing worn down bricks and leaky windows. 

"This first phase will replace the brick and the mortar and also remove the windows,” said Graham-Best. “Once the south side is done, they will move to the front of the building.”

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Fixing the entire building will cost about $10 million and is expected to take years but when it’s done the Tabor will not only be preserved but ready for years of performances on its stage. 

“It will have an active theater. The building will have retail spaces and a ballroom where people can rent it for wedding receptions,’ said Hoehn.

Credit: 9News

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