The historic Tabor Opera House has been purchased by the city of Leadville, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced this week.
An integral building in the Leadville National Historic Landmark District and a National Trust for Historic Preservation designated National Treasure, the theater was purchased from owner Sharon Bland. The completion of the sale signifies an important step for the future rehabilitation of the opera house as a year-round asset to the Leadville community.
Considered to be “the most perfect place for amusement between Chicago and San Francisco” when it was built in 1879 by mining tycoon Horace Tabor, the Italianate Tabor Opera House boasts 25,000 square feet of space and a 650-seat theater at the end of Leadville’s main street. During its long life, this beloved local icon played host to Oscar Wilde, Harry Houdini, and Judy Collins. Tabor lost the building to the 1893 Silver Crash, and it was eventually sold to the Elks in 1901. It was saved from demolition by Bland’s mother, Evelyn Furman, in 1955, and has operated as a seasonal entertainment venue ever since.
“This year, the City of Leadville embarked on a bold journey to purchase and restore the Tabor Opera House,” stated Leadville Mayor Greg Labbe. “On Nov. 11, we saw the culmination of our hard work and grant requests for the acquisition phase of the project with awards from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, History Colorado, El Pomar Foundation, Boettcher Foundation and Gates Family Foundation.”
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