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Colorado Preservation Inc.’s annual Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards known as the 2022 Endangered Places Progress Award, has been awarded to The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation. The awards program honors individuals, organizations, public agencies, and businesses from across the state, whose work demonstrates excellence in historic preservation.

“We are deeply honored to receive this statewide award, which is a testament to the hard work of the Foundation and the City of Leadville,” said Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation President Jenny Buddenborg. “Even through the pandemic’s challenges, we have remained focused on saving the Tabor and creating a hub for arts and culture in downtown Leadville. The Foundation would also like to congratulate FREIGHT event space for receiving the sister 2022 Preservation Edge Award, contributing to the positive preservation activity in Leadville.”

Photo courtesy Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation.

Continuing the preservation work, the Foundation announced that Phase II of the building’s rehabilitation launched this month. Critical repairs to the north and east exterior walls began, led by contractor A&M Renovations, LLC. This phase is estimated to cost $1.3 million. The following organizations have provided funding: Colorado Department of Local Affairs, $600,000; History Colorado’s State Historical Fund, $250,000; Gates Family Foundation, $50,000; and El Pomar Foundation, $25,000. The project also benefits from $350,000 of state preservation tax credits from the Phase I rehabilitation.

Work to preserve the ghost sign on the south exterior wall also began this month. Contractor Deborah Uhl, a fine artist and conservator at Creative Conservation Collective, will make the ghost sign more legible yet retain its faded appearance. The ghost sign is comprised of three overlapping signs painted over time.

The Foundation board of directors, which supports and advances these initiatives, has announced a new member and new officers. Nell Lindquist has joined the Foundation’s board of directors. Team lead of the Innovations Development Team at Liquid Web, Lindquist and her husband are renovating the Timberline Motel in downtown Leadville and are neighbors to the Tabor.

The Foundation has announced a slate of officers: Jenny Buddenborg, President; Carl Schaefer, Vice President; Greg Decent, Treasurer; and Amy Tait, Secretary.

Tabor Opera House Upcoming Shows

The Foundation’s team is also focused on its upcoming shows, which support the effort to preserve the Tabor Opera House. Tickets are available at Future shows include:

  • Ghosts of the Tabor: A Performance Treasure Hunt, 7:00 p.m. July 8 and 9, 2022
  • Tabor Summer Celebración street festival and show, 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. July 31, 2022
  • Rooted in the Blues Double Header: Cary Morin and Hazel Miller, 7:00 p.m. Aug. 27, 2022

Tabor Opera House at night. Photo by Craig Hensel.

About the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation

The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates the Tabor Opera House and leads its rehabilitation, partnering with the City of Leadville, which owns the building. Together, they are working to revitalize the historic Tabor Opera House for a diverse and inclusive audience.

The Tabor Opera House, built in 1879, is a much-needed cultural and community center. Yet this elegant building, deemed a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been endangered by nearly a century and a half of long winters in North America’s highest-elevation city.

It has now embarked on a multi-year, $15 million rehabilitation. Learn more at and on Facebook at @taboroperafoundation.

Featured image: Tabor Opera House by Craig Hensel.