Watch the 're' renovation!
This past December, 2011, the opera house underwent extension
renovations to the plaster. Due to an accident, the ceiling had a hole which needed repair and also much plaster that
was compromised. Consequently, the entire ceiling, and the walls down to the wainscotting were completely resurfaced.
This could not have been accomplished without the talents of Aleksey Syrnichenko, master craftsman and designer. His
website is www.olyanamagicplaster.com
|Hanging the chandelier in the center of the restored fresco
|Fresco is recreated using oil paints
The Restoration Process
The Pemberville Opera House Restoration committee was formed by historical society members interested
in the restoration of the Opera House. Fundraisers were held in the form of a melodrama, plays, dessert auctions and generous
donations from individuals and organizations. The Restoration Committee met in June and July of 1998 for strategic planning
and voted to begin the restoration with the money that had been accumulated to date. The ceiling was insulated and in November
two furnaces were in the attic to heat the Opera House. 30,000 feet of wire was used to install a completely new electrical
system. On Jan 17, 1999 restoration work bagan. Areas of the walls and ceiling were water-stained and damaged with loose and
falling plaster. The floor was covered with 100 years of bat residue. Loose paint was scraped off the walls and ceiling uncovering
original stencilling and a ceiling fresco measuring 18 foot in diameter. The wall colors and stencilling were duplicated and
the fresco was restored using two coats of Rembrandt Oil paint. A total of 457 hours and 7 weeks to complete. One year later
a special varnish was applied to preserve the fresco.
The heating ducts, electrical wiring and existing pipes needed
to be covered and out of view. The landing at the top of the stairway had to be enlarged to meet code regulations. This was
done by constructing walls and creating the coved ceiling to match the existing architecture. Wainscoting was milled to match
the existing wall treatment. Plaster was repaired, inside storm windows constructed and the fire escape brought up to code
by reinforcing the entire structure and replacing the wooden treads with iron. The floor was vacuumed and scrubbed and years
of dirt dug out of the grooves before two coats of polyurethane were applied.
There were no pictures available
of the original light fixtures or window treatments so extensive research was done to choose chandeliers and draperies appropriate
to the late 19th century. The gasolier style chandeliers were purchased, carpet was laid in the foyer and stairway and shutters
installed on stairway windows.
volunteers contributed to the restoration of the Pemberville Opera House but there was a core group of people that worked
continuously to complete the project in time for the rededication at the Pemberville Autumnfest on October 23, 1999. One wonders
if any of this restoration would have been accomplished without this dedicated core group of committed volunteers. They gave
countless hours in what would become a local treasure.
|Water soaked and stained walls
|Ceiling in need of help