July 19, 2012
Tabor Opera House
308 Harrison Avenue
Leadville, CO 80461
About the Tabor Opera House
The Tabor Opera House was built in 1879 by Horace Tabor, and was the crowning jewel in Leadville’s rich and often rowdy history and is still a huge source of pride for residents today. With the opening of the Tabor Opera House, Horace Tabor, Leadville’s Silver King, brought art, culture and grandeur to a city that began as a wild mining camp.
The Tabor Opera House, once billed as the finest theatre between St. Louis and San Francisco, had many famous people perform on its stage including: Harry Houdini, John Philip Sousa, Oscar Wilde, and Anna Held. No expense was spared on the building and its furnishings. Around the turn of the century there were 150 opera houses in the State of Colorado; today there are only 8. Additionally, the architecture is representative of early construction techniques used in Leadville, and it was one of the earliest substantial structures built along Harrison Ave. Its craftsmanship and historic features make the Tabor Opera House one of the finest remaining Victorian opera houses in the West.
Currently, the imminent threat to this site encompasses the building’s envelope. This threat was identified in a Historic Structure Assessment in 2003, noting the need for critical rehabilitation measures that were necessary in order to prevent further deterioration. Left unaddressed, the deterioration continues to allow water to penetrate between the layers of brick where freezing and thawing of the trapped water will eventually compromise the integrity of the exterior walls. This situation is further exacerbated by the extremes in weather which occur at an altitude of 10,152 ft. where the City of Leadville sits.
Please visit the Tabor Opera House’s website to learn more and donate!