Tabor Opera House enters first phase of extensive renovations |

Tabor Opera House enters first phase of extensive renovations

Plans for the refurbished Tabor Opera House want to add community spaces as well as an updated performance venue.
Special to the Daily

The first phase of an estimated $10 million restoration of the historic Tabor Opera House in Leadville began recently. This is the first full rehabilitation since 1902 for the opera house, built in 1879 in just 100 days by Colorado’s legendary mining magnate Horace Tabor.

The larger rehabilitation is expected to take years and, after decades of deferred maintenance, plans to restore the Tabor to its original glory while making it functional for modern times. In addition to serving as a performance venue, the opera house hopes to serve as a community, storefront and rental space. Fundraising is continuing for future phases.

A public-private partnership between the city of Leadville and Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation raised nearly $1.5 million for this first phase of rehabilitation, which is expected to be complete in late summer 2021.

Funding was provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund, National Park Service Save America’s Treasure program, Colorado State Historical Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express Partners in Preservation program, and city of Leadville. Partners in Preservation funds were earned by Tabor Opera House supporters far and wide whose online voting helped the Tabor win first place and $150,000 in a national campaign. 

“The city and Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation have worked tirelessly to raise $1,450,000 towards the phase one facade rehabilitation of our national treasure the historic Tabor Opera House,” said Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe. “The city and foundation are elated that work will commence on this very important first phase rehabilitation project in the summer of 2020.”

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The foundation cancelled its 2020 summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the silver lining of providing more time to focus on the long-awaited construction.

Heritage A&M, a joint venture of Heritage Window Restoration, LLC, of Commerce City, and A&M Renovations, LLC, of Johnstown, Colo., were hired after a deliberative and competitive bid process by the city of Leadville to carry out this first phase of rehabilitation. They are joined by Agave Landscapes & Masonry, Inc. of Salida, with project oversight provided by Hoehn Architects, PC of Evergreen, Colo.

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