Opera House acquires neighboring building for expansion
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT – The Opera House on Main Street is getting an expansion.
The former Fox Theater building, located at 1124 Main St., is being transformed into a modern two-story event space with an outdoor beer garden and balcony. The group spearheading the project, Opera House LLC, announced the acquisition of the former Book World building at 1136 Main St. on Oct. 9. The building directly neighbors the Opera House.
The two buildings will be connected with an interior passageway between the two structures. The addition with the existing plans will nearly triple the floor space.
The former Book World building also carries a long history, resting on Main Street since 1899-1900, constructed by Curran and Wiesner.
According to the release: “The U.S. Post Office occupied the building from 1901-1913, and then it served as the second home of Gross and Jacobs Hardware Store, owned by Nick Gross and Peter (P.J.) Jacobs. Most recently in its history, Book World, a bookstore, operated out of the building from 1979 to 2018.”
Book World closed in January of 2018 and was purchased later that year by Wildcard Corp., the group in charge of the Opera House reconstruction. Wildcard gave the building a full renovation after purchasing it in 2018.
“The focus of the remodel was to revitalize many of the original elements of the building while also incorporating modern amenities that would make the building a functional space for the modern-day,” read the release. “With care and hard work, these original elements have been uncovered and restored to their former glory. The most stunning of the original features include a pressed metal ceiling, exposed red city brick walls, aged pinewood shiplap, bricked-over window wells that have been reopened, hardwood maple floors, and a large atrium and skylight that opens down to the first floor.”
Erin Batzler, Corporate Brand Representative for the Opera House, LLC stated, “The additional building space will really expand the Opera House’s venue offerings and give the complex the ability to host much larger events and even multiple events at once, and that will improve the long-term viability of The Opera House as a private business.”
Follow the Gazette for updates on the renovations and a planned completion date.