In the small town of Elgin in Southern Oregon, the century-old Elgin Opera House is considered the geographic and civic heart of the 1,700-member community. Over the years, the Opera House had fallen into disrepair, and local citizens rallied to preserve the building and restore it to its original splendor as a performing arts venue and multi-use community facility.
About five years ago, the two-story, colonial revival brick building received a series of historic restorations and structural and energy efficiency upgrades. One of the most important updates to the building was to provide ADA accessibility with ramps, seating, and bathrooms to ensure universal access for community members of all abilities.
A community space like the Opera House is vital for small, rural towns. The restoration has resulted in providing a singular location for a variety of community-based initiatives, including Elgin’s popular community theater program, which uses the Opera House as its performing space. The newly revitalized building has also allowed for a community education program, which gives underserved children in the community the opportunity to interact with seasoned theater professionals.
The Murdock Trust is pleased to support this important community and arts space in rural Elgin, Oregon.