Music guild donates to Grand’s restoration
STEUBENVILLE — The Ohio Valley Music Guild has again demonstrated generosity in providing a donation to the Grand Theater Restoration Project, which continues efforts to restore the only standing theater remaining in the downtown.
Located at 121 S. Fourth St., the theater is where three representatives of the music guild — Judi Gaynor, past president; Josephine Irvine-Groves, secretary; and Carlotta Jordan, board member — presented a $1,000 check Wednesday to Scott Dressel, president of the Grand Theater Restoration Project.
It is the ninth time the guild has made a $1,000 donation toward the project. The funds are generated from music events organized by the guild, which also awards scholarships.
“All of it helps,” said an appreciative Dressel of the donation before offering an update on work happening there.
On Sunday, EverGreene Architectural Arts, for example, will start restoring the ornamental plaster with the first project being the big oval dome in the front of the theater.
“It will progress outward from there and down as we get more money,” he said. “They will repair the plaster so it will look like it did when it was new,” he added.
“It will be about six weeks this time because that’s all the money we have for them to work, and it will take how ever long it takes to do the rest of it. There’s about a million dollars more to do on the plaster work alone,” he said.
Funding to do the ornamental plaster work was awarded through an Ohio Capital Bill Grant totaling $225,000. The capital improvements bill funds a variety of projects statewide every two years, and Dressel expressed hope for a bigger award next time around.
“So things are moving along,” he said.
Work on the restoration of the Wurlitzer theater organ that originally was in the theater in 1924 is nearing completion. “We’re actually almost done with the pipe organ. There’s still work to be done, but one of the goals of this plaster work is to maybe get the area in front of where the pipe organ chambers are done so that we can put it back in there without worrying about it getting damaged from dust and stuff from doing the other work, so we’re getting closer.”
Grants and private donations have funded restoration work to date. “We are coming in under budget on everything,” he said.
Major milestones completed since the restoration began in 2010 include the roof; lobby, office and museum; asbestos and mold abatement; new electrical service and heat in the main theater; a front facade; work on the second-floor ballroom, which is halfway completed; and work on the pipe organ.
A 501c3 nonprofit, the Grand is owned by the Steubenville Historic Landmarks Foundation, a private volunteer-run nonprofit. For information, call (740) 632-2899 or visit www.historicsteubenville.org or Facebook at Grand Theater for the Performing Arts Steubenville Ohio.