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McPherson Opera House Preservation Company:
The Heroes

If not realists at the beginning, those visionaries who saved the McPherson Opera House from demolition in 1986 soon became so in the course of the next several years. It is to their eternal credit that the founding members of the McPherson Opera House Preservation Company (MOHPC) faced down lawsuits, demolition orders, public skepticism and a lack of funds to secure the stability of the structure’s shell. Credit must also be given to Peoples Bank and Trust, who deeded the building to the Preseervation Company and provided initial seed money.


Work begins

The building was secured with a new roof (since replaced) and windows, a gift from CertainTeed Corporation (replaced in 2011). The Main Street store front was restored to its original appearance. The exterior brickwork was tuckpointed, and the Coca Cola signs, dating from the early 1900s, were restored thanks to a grant from the Coca Cocla company.

The one-storey building adjacent to the Opera House on the north was purchased in 2000 and was remodeled as the Annex, with a ribbon cutting and Grand Opening on February 7, 2002.

Various exterior projects were completed, including the restoration of the Grand Entry. In preparation for the beginning of work on the interior, the roof trusses were reinforced and a new roof was installed.


The West Commercial Portion of the Building

A $1.2 million gift from the estate of Ann Freeman of California was the catalyst to begin work on the interior of the building. A number of named-gift donations, including $545,000 from Ann Allison Leach, plus State and Federal historicl tax credits, allowed completion of the west commercial portion of the Opera House, which opened in February 2007.

Special thanks are due Peoples Bank and Trust and Citizens State Bank, who served as the Opera House Federal tax credit partners. Eby Construction Company was the general contractor and Andy Steffes was the architect.


The Auditorium and Mary Anderson Arts Center

Historic tax credits, additional private donations, and grants from the Julia J. Mingenback Foundation, allowed construction to proceed on the auditorium and Mary Anderson Arts Center.

(more to come; under construction)




Victorian stencil used during the renovation of the McPherson Opera House

The McPherson Opera House,
with its six unique rental spaces used singly or in combination,
offers the perfect solution for every occasion, business or family.

219 South Main Street
PO Box 333
McPherson, KS 67460

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McPherson Opera House Auditorium McPherson Opera House Grand Ballroom NCRA Meeting Room Rose Morris Conference Room Mary Anderson Arts Center Room 1 Mary Anderson Arts Center Room 2

Host your next event at the McPherson Opera House for an artfully decorated setting, high-tech conveniences, and exceptional service. Centrally located off Interstate 135 – 50 miles north of Wichita – the McPherson Opera House offers a convenient destination for your next business meeting, family reunion, wedding reception, or other event. Please explore the Rental Facilities page for more information.