From Grand to Glorious
Today’s owner, the Delphi Preservation Society, is planning an historic restoration and addition that will preserve the past, modernize and double the building’s size and add new activities.
The façade has been restored, the roof replaced and a first-floor art gallery opened. Those were the first phases of preservation. Construction is scheduled to begin in February, 2014. The art gallery will be moved to the Delhi Preservation Society's other location, 188 N. Union St., known as Delphi Opera House Too.
More to Come
Plans are now ready to create a lobby, ticket office, restrooms and banquet hall on the ground floor. Two sets of fire stairs and an elevator will be installed.
The second floor will house historic exhibits, an archive room, dressing rooms, warming kitchen, rehearsal space, meeting rooms, offices and restrooms.
The third floor will feature a refurbished performance stage, moveable seating for 200, concession area and open space for banquets and other uses. A patio and green roof garden are planned for the rooftop.
Dreaming the Old Dreams Over
Attention will be paid to the building’s history and original décor. A decorative arts analysis identified early wallpaper patterns and colors, and those will be recreated.
Patrons will again see wallpapers with swans, Grecian urns, blue cranes highlighted in gold, borders with wool flocking, floral motifs and geometric patterns, all unified by the original colors—olives, maroon, gold and black.
Arts and cultural events—theatre, music and dance—will return.
The building will be home to much more, too—banquets, receptions, classes, recitals, meetings and countless more community events.
First Floor Plans
Visible from Washington Street will be the Ticket Foyer and Lobby area with coat storage. A curved stairway will rise to the second floor landing. The lobby opens into a Banquet Hall which will accommodate 88 people seated at tables or up to 250 for a standing reception. The facility connects with restrooms and an elevator lobby providing access to second floor meeting space, dressing rooms, and the third-floor auditorium lobby. Two sets of fire stairs also provide access to the floors above and the basement below. Covered parking is available off of the alley providing handicapped access to the elevator lobby as well as an unloading zone for caterers, stage props, etc.
Second Floor Plans
Highlights of the second floor include museum space for displaying artifacts from the opera house. The museum will also tell the story of businesses that operated in the opera house block as well interpretive panels depicting the history of Delphi with emphasis on the Delphi Courthouse Square National Register Historic District. The collection of materials donated to the Delphi Preservation Society by local historian Charles Gerard will be housed in a temperature and humidity controlled Archives room. The center's staff will have office space on this floor. The warming kitchen has dumbwaiter access to the floors above and below. Dressing rooms, with their own set of stairs leading to the third floor stage area, provide space for performers to prepare makeup and to dress. A large multi-purpose room can provide overflow dressing space for large casts. The same size as the Opera House stage, it can also be used as a rehearsal hall. When not in use for theater productions, the room can be rented for other purposes and used for community meetings.
Third Floor Plans
The Opera House takes the stage on the third floor with its historic balcony and auditorium space accessible via elevator through the wide lobby area or the historic stairs rising from the second floor landing. Larger men's and women's restrooms on this level will accommodate theater goers during intermissions. Performers' comforts are provided for in the Green Room which connects to the second floor dressing rooms via stairs. A stage right area provides set and prop storage for current productions.
In the theater itself, a recessed light bay in the ceiling will handle most lighting requirements managed from a light and sound booth on the rear balcony. During theater productions, up to 200 seats will be available for patrons. The flat floor of the theater space will enable flexible usage including dinner theater performances, ballroom dancing, weddings and receptions, community meetings, and other events..