Mancos Creative District Receives History Colorado State Historical Fund Grant for Mancos Opera House

 In Press Release

The Mancos Creative District is pleased to announce that it has received a grant in the amount of $32,409 from the History Colorado State Historical Fund to support the ongoing renovation and preservation of the Mancos Opera House.  The mission of the State Historical Fund is “to foster heritage preservation through tangible and highly visible projects for direct and demonstrable public benefit.”

The State Historical Fund grant will support the rehabilitation of the Mancos Opera House roof and gutter system to prevent further water damage to the building.  The Mancos Creative District will be seeking bids to complete the work on the roof and gutters, which is anticipated to be completed by next summer. The Mancos Creative District is working with the Mancos Opera House Company LLC in this critical rehabilitation effort. Mancos Opera House Company LLC purchased the Mancos Opera House in the Fall of 2017 and continues the rehabilitation process to restore the Opera House to its former status as a landmark building and community gathering place for performing arts and community events.  Mancos Opera House Company LLC is owned by Philip and Linda Walters, who are also generously providing matching funds to support this grant from the State Historical Fund. 

The Mancos Opera House, originally established by partners, A.J. Ames and George Woods in 1910, has been a landmark in the Mancos Valley and surrounding Four Corners area. The ground floor was developed for commercial enterprises, such as a drug store and adjacent butcher shop, while the second floor provided a place for community gatherings, serving the local community’s social and cultural needs, as an Opera Hall, motion picture theater (the first in the county), and ballroom. It is listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties and the National Register of Historic Places.  The Mancos Opera House was used heavily from its construction in 1910 through the late 1980’s.  However, by the early 2000’s the Mancos Opera House had fallen into a state of disrepair, leading to the town condemning the building in 2002 due to threat of roof collapse and potential for bricks and masonry elements to fall off the building and injure pedestrians. The building was structurally stabilized and its masonry repaired in 2002 with an Emergency Grant for Stabilization provided by the State Historic Fund as well as by funds raised by The Friends of the Mancos Opera House and by the non-profit Mancos Opera House Association (MOHA).  

The rehabilitation project has received strong support from a variety of town stakeholders including the Library, the Town Council, Mancos Common Press, Mancos Historical Society and Chamber of Commerce.  

This project will help ensure that “the Mancos Opera House will continue to provide our community with wonderful opportunities for citizens of all ages to be exposed to and enjoy the performing arts in our small town.” Heather Alvarez, Mancos Town Manager. 

For more information on this grant, contact Jodi Jahrling at jodi@mancoscreativedistrict.com.  For more information on the Mancos Opera House rehabilitation plan, please contact Philip Walters at pwalters@eastcanserv.com.

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