The Norway Opera House received a Maine Preservation 2013 Honor Award for Commercial-Restoration/Rehabilitation, acknowledging tremendous and courageous community dedication and commitment to saving a beloved downtown symbol. Storefronts are open for business once again, and their story is a heartwarming inspiration to other towns who strive to save and enliven their own communities.
Restoration of windows, doors and interiors created eye-catching retail spaces on the ground level, and just four months since the Norway Opera House celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony, all five rehabbed storefront spaces are now leased! Congrats to the Opera House and Downtown Norway! Lachman Architects & Planners provided financial modeling, partnership coordination, and design for the project,
Located in Norway’s historic center of socioeconomic interaction, the Norway Opera House was the community’s symbol of pride, prosperity and community activity for many years, featuring famous headliners and healthy first-floor retail establishments that activated Main Street. Built immediately after a fire in 1894 the Opera House’s landmark clock tower still dominates the Main Street skyline and can be seen from 360 degrees In 2003 Maine Preservation named the building one of Maine’s Most Endangered Properties, and a couple years later the building was in severe danger of collapsing in from roof leaking, several broken roof trusses, and partial back brick wall failure. The Town of Norway subsequently undertook a series of bold events to save the building, calling on a mix of determination and faith that a solution would be found in time to save it. Lachman Architects & Planners provided financial modeling for the project and helped coordinate the partnership between the non-profit Opera House Corporation and Norway Savings Bank.
Lachman Architects and Planners also designed the rehabilitated spaces, wrote the Historic Tax Credit application for the Project, and volunteered several days of labor for some initial demo to exposed hidden conditions before bidding. Months later after incredible efforts by many involved, including excellent work and craftsmanship by the Contractor, HE Callahan, the storefront ribbon cutting ceremony puts the “Most Endangered” designation as a distant memory for this pivotal property.