Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
City Opera House
Traverse City, Michigan
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- National Register Tax Act Project
- Construction Management at-Risk
- Historic Restoration
- 41,000 s.f.
- Quinn Evans Architects
- August 2004
2006 Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation
The City Opera House, constructed in 1891, is recognized as a National Register Property and is one of the largest and best-preserved early opera houses in Michigan. The Opera House served as a performing arts center, banquet and dance facility, and in 1940 was leased by a motion picture company until its doors were closed in 1945. The building was donated to the City of Traverse City in the 1980s and a major restoration plan was subsequently put in place to restore the facility to its original beauty..
Located on the second and third floors of a downtown commercial district with operational businesses on all sides, the restoration project was a logistical challenge. Restoration work consisted of the historic restoration of the exterior façade, reproduction of the existing architectural trim, selective removal of non-historic materials, structural improvements to achieve current capacity standards, detail finish carpentry and painted finishes, complete new mechanical systems, fire sprinkler and life safety systems, and period lighting, as well as new code compliant restrooms and user friendly green rooms. Christman was also able to provide true value management to the project. For example, by closing off the sidewalk during demolition and performing lead abatement procedures at night, Christman was able to eliminate scaffolding and save the client approximately $20,000.
In December of 2004, the City of Traverse City celebrated the grand reopening of the restored historic Traverse City Opera House. The project was a success for all team members, achieving all restoration, budget and schedule goals.