Sometimes, no matter how much people protest otherwise, old buildings are just old.
In Havre de Grace, that discussion went on for several years about the former Opera House, which probably never hosted an opera but rather was given that moniker because in the days it was operational theater was regarded as an endeavor of ill repute.
The only thing questioned more than the building’s historic value was if it would ever be worth the cost of making it better than new. One of the key issues was how wise would it be to spend millions (it turned out to be $4 million) on restoring life to so few seats (about 226).
There are times when what some called a folly, thanks to dedicated people who disagree, turn out to valuable gems. That comes to mind as the Cultural Center at the Opera House celebrates the first anniversary of its reopening as a glorious public facility.
Performance art of all kinds enriches a community and in Havre de Grace those enriching experiences have a beautiful new home. Thanks to people with vision who got a question on the ballot and to the city’s voters who said yes to borrowing $2 million or so to expedite the restoration, the Opera House has quickly become an important part of the city.
Happy first birthday to the Cultural Center at the Opera House!