Grant Spotlight: McPherson Opera House

Grant Spotlight: McPherson Opera House

When it comes to old buildings maintenance and repair are key to their preservation. Words the McPherson Opera House are all to familiar with.

The Opera House, built in 1889, closed for operation in 1983 after almost 100 years of operation. Later that decade, thanks mostly in part to community support, the McPherson Opera House Preservation Company took control of the building with the intention of returning it to its original glory. The ground broke in 1986 and after nearly 25 years the final phase of the project was complete in 2010.

For staff at the Opera House, it’s now about maintaining its restored state.

Earlier this year a patron leaned against the window frame of the south staircase and noticed that it had moved. The Opera House had the window inspected along with a similar frame in the 5th floor ballroom and were told that both needed to be replaced.

The Opera House applied for and received a grant of $5,050 dollars from the McPherson County Community Foundation along with a $29,760.00 reimbursement grant from the Heritage Trust Fund to complete the project. According to Karissa Hoffman, McPherson Opera House Executive Director, they had received an initial estimated cost of $31,000, but is required by the Heritage Trust to put the project up for bid. The Heritage Trust Fund grants reimburses expenses associated with the cost of preservations.

“With both of these grants, we will be able to complete the project and once again make the Opera House structurally safe.” Hoffman said.

It is important to note that Hoffman plans to retain the current windows, and that the project will focus on just replacing the frames.

As of right now, the Opera House is still able to use the staircase and the ballroom, but there was concern that without repair these two windows could become unsafe passersby.

“The McPherson Opera House is a cherished cornerstone of our community, offering world-class entertainment, education, and cultural enrichment, all while standing as a monument of historical significance.” Hoffman said, “As time progresses, it is vital that we continue to restore and preserve this magnificent building, safeguarding its historical features, safety, and structural integrity. Your support enables us to achieve this, ensuring that our beautiful grand windows remain secure. We are profoundly grateful for this grant and the opportunity it provides to keep serving our wonderful community.”

A future project that Hoffman and staff are looking towards next is acquiring a hearing loop. The equipment will allow those who have hard of hearing to be able to enjoy the shows. It will also help the Opera House continue to remain ADA compliant.

Interested in the window repair project or the hearing loop? Contact Karissa Hoffman at 620-241-1952 (Ext.204) to learn how you can help.

Upcoming shows for the Opera House