Piper's Opera House gets grant to help match federal funding

Piper's Opera House in Virginia City recieved help for it's renovations from the Cultural Affairs Commission when it was awarded $200,000. Photo by Brian Corley

Piper's Opera House in Virginia City recieved help for it's renovations from the Cultural Affairs Commission when it was awarded $200,000. Photo by Brian Corley

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Piper's Opera House in Virginia City was the big winner as the Cultural Affairs Commission doled out its annual $2 million in bond money for historic preservation projects.

Piper's Executive Director Howard Bennett said the $200,000 from the state will help match the $400,000 in National Parks money awarded through the Save America's Treasures program.

He said the past few years have been dedicated to desperately needed structural repairs and installation of such things as a new heating system. But now, he said, area residents will begin to see dramatic changes in the historic Comstock opera house. After installing mechanical systems and completing the seismic retrofitting, Bennett said the historic brick facade will go up.

In addition, he said they will excavate the subfloor of the facility this year,

In addition, the commission awarded the Brewery Arts Center $60,000 to rehabilitate St. Teresa's Church and, if they close the deal for it, the historic Henry David house.

The Children's Museum of Northern Nevada was awarded $10,000 to cover the cost of ceiling fans and a list of minor repairs.

The Gold Hill Historical Society will receive $25,000 for work to restore the Gold Hill Depot, the Fourth Ward School $47,868 and St. Mary's Art Center in Virginia City will get $25,000 for necessary repairs.

Historic Preservation Officer Ron James said the commission's job was especially difficult this year because grant requests totaled nearly $9.4 million but there is still just a bit more than $2 million to hand out.

Two of the larger grants awarded were contingent on supporters making certain things happen.

In the case of the old Lake Mansion in Reno, a group trying to move the structure away from the convention center property was told they can get up to $80,000 if the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority agrees to help pay for the moving costs. They want to put the mansion on what is now a city parking lot at the corner of Arlington and Court St.

And the group trying to create a museum to honor the history and contributions of African Americans at the old Moulin Rouge casino was given a chance to claim a $100,000 grant that could get their center's doors open. But since the state constitution won't permit the bond money to be used on a privately owned facility, they have to make a deal with owners to buy the historic casino -- the first Las Vegas resort to cater to blacks.

A list of grants awarded Friday by the Commission for Cultural Affairs:

Brewery Arts Center $60,000

Children's Museum of Northern Nevada $10,000

Churchill Arts Council - Oats Park School $122,300

City of Las Vegas Post Office $150,000

Las Vegas Springs Preserve $28,000

Clark County Museum Railroad Cottage $60,000

Moulin Rouge Museum and Cultural Center $100,000

Las Vegas High School $26,800

Morelli House in Las Vegas $25,000

Society for Preservation of the Overton Gym $100,000

Tuscarora Tavern in Elko County $121,405

Western Folklife Center in Elko $129,725

Goldfield Courthouse $65,000

Eureka County Old High School $20,000

Lander County Cookhouse Museum $75,000

Lincoln County Courthouse $90,000

Tonopah Historic Mining Park $105,000

Lovelock Train Depot $15,000

Goldhill Depot $25,000

Fourth Ward School $47,868

Piper's Opera House $200,000

St. Mary's Art Center $25,000

Reno California building $49,200

Reno Lear Theater $100,000

Lake Mansion $80,000

Galena Fish Hatchery $10,000

White Pine Historical Railroad Foundation $92,240

White Pine Community Choir $53,000

Total grants: $2,060,538


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