Project of the Year - Renovation/Restoration

The Grand Opera House is one of the few Wisconsin buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is a testament to Victorian design with elaborate wall and ceiling decorations and curved ceiling beams and columns rising up on either side of the stage proscenium.

Photo: Thompson Photo Imagery
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Above the decoration, timber roof trusses, first set in 1883, had to be made level again and reinforced with steel without damaging historical elements.

Early in 2009, the owner closed the main hall of the Grand Opera House for safety reasons because the roof trusses were discovered to be sagging as much as 10 in in some locations. Further inspection led to the discovery of similar concerns with the ceiling joists and the plaster ceiling itself—all part of the original 1883 construction. City officials made the decision to correct the problem, but it was evident repairs couldn’t be made from the outside.

With the recommendation made to take down the decorative historic ceiling in the main hall, city officials set out to find a contractor who was prepared to handle the job.

They decided that The Boldt Co.’s experience with structural steel and historic renovations made the construction company a perfect fit for this monumental restoration opportunity.

Key Players

Developer/Owner: Oshkosh Grand Opera House, Oshkosh, Wis.
GC: The Boldt Co., Appleton, Wis.
CM: The Boldt Co., Appleton, Wis.
Architect: T.R. Karrels and Associates, Oshkosh, Wis.

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