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Historic Colorado opera house wins $160K for preservation project

The Tabor Opera House in Leadville was just awarded over $150,000 that'll go toward preservation of the historic site.
View of the Tabor Opera House located at 308-312 Harrison Avenue, Leadville, Colo c. 1993(Photo: Denver Public Library)

LEADVILLE — “Go pat yourselves on the back, Leadville,” was the message to loyal patrons of the Tabor Opera House. In a Facebook post, the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation announced it is a recipient of a $150,000 grant that will go toward preserving the historic site.

The foundation also won an extra $10,000 that they hope to put toward the Leadville Main Street program. That program is aimed at helping keep Leadville’s downtown a vibrant place for the community.

The grant comes from the Partners in Preservation campaign, a project made possible by the National Trust, American Express and Main Street America to focus on sites that have played a role in the development of a more diverse nation. The public voted online for the sites they hoped to win and Leadville residents turned out to represent their town.

The Tabor Opera House was built in 1879 and has welcomed guests ranging from Oscar Wilde to Harry Houdini. The historic building is still in use but is in need of repairs. The newly awarded prize money will go toward the first phase of upgrades, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million.

The Tabor Opera House was one of 11 winning sites in this year’s campaign. The sites will receive a combined total of $1.6 million that will go toward their respective preservation projects.