STUART’S OPERA HOUSE
Location: Nelsonville, OH 45764
Construction Cost: $1,100,000
Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio is a prominent historic theater house. The Opera House had served as an anchor to the Nelsonville town square since 1879. The block of buildings which also included the Hocking College Art Gallery and the Hocking Valley Museum of Theatrical History was struck by fire in April of 2015. Thanks to a firewall between the buildings, the Opera House survived with only smoke and water damage. The other two buildings were completely destroyed, leaving only the brick exteriors.
The residents of Nelsonville wished to maintain the historic charm of their town square. Restoration of the brick facade to its original look was extremely important. Before the restoration work could begin, SSRG stabilized the exterior of the building to allow for the interior to be completely demolished. Since there were no floors to stand on, the crew worked on the space using a crane to get themselves and materials in and out. Steel was installed inside the building to reinforce the walls and create new floors. Concrete and steel were used to build out each of the floors within the building. The structure was topped with a wood roof to maintain it’s historic character. The existing masonry was removed, cleaned and reinstalled. The buildings connected to the Stuart’s Opera House were turned over to the owner in white-box condition. SSRG preserved the historic facade and returned the interior to a usable space.