Since including Opera Houses on its statewide Seven to Save list of endangered historic sites in 2018, the Preservation League of NYS has been working to study and assist opera houses across New York State.
That work has been supported in large part thanks to the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation.
After funding a statewide opera house survey in 2019, the Adams Foundation proposed a re-grant partnership in 2022 to fund the rehabilitation, restoration, and repair of historic arts and cultural venues, open to organizations that previously received League grants.
The League has announced the two grant recipients, each receiving $10,000 from the Adams grant program: Earlville Opera House, located in Central New York; and Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education, located in Cambridge, NY, between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Upper Hudson River.
Earlville Opera House (EOH) has additionally been named the 2022 Donald Stephen Gratz Preservation Services Fund grant recipient, receiving an additional $10,000 to fully fund their Victorian-era storefront restoration and window repair project.
EOH is one of the state’s important historic opera house rehabilitation success stories. This 1892 three-story brick multi-use building boasts a proscenium stage, ornate stamped metal ceilings, and decorative stenciling. Saved from demolition in the 1970s, today it offers an art gallery and restored performance space that attract participants from far beyond its small community in rural Chenango County, NY.
The League has been proud to support their preservation journey over the years with grants through the New York State Council on the Arts-funded Technical Assistance Grant (2014) and Preserve New York (2021) grant programs.
Built in 1878, Hubbard Hall has developed, produced, and presented theater, music, opera, dance, visual arts, and special events for over 140 years. Today, Hubbard Hall is a thriving arts center dedicated to cultivating, sustaining, and promoting the cultural life of their rural community in Washington County, NY, and throughout the greater Capital Region.
The new HVAC system for Hubbard Hall is a crucial step in that organization’s preservation efforts. This project builds upon a comprehensive Historic Structure Report funded by the League through a Preserve New York grant in 2016.
For more about the Preservation League’s efforts to support New York State’s opera houses, click here.
Photos, from above: Earlville Opera House; Hubbard Hall; men working on the Victorian storefront at the Earlville Opera House; and Hubbard Hall historic marker.