From the City of Havre de Grace:
The City of Havre de Grace announces a grant award of $250,000 from the Maryland House of Delegates to be used to renovate the Historic Havre de Grace Opera House. The building, used by the public since 1871, served as the seat of Havre de Grace City Government from 1897-1993. The building is a centerpiece for the Arts & Entertainment District, and is part of the City’s Registered Historic District, Sustainable Community, Maryland Heritage, and Main Street District.
The Renovation Project will restore and upgrade the second floor theater, and renovate the first floor to include a box office, additional rehearsal and meeting space, dressing rooms and ADA compliant bathrooms. Additionally the project will connect the Opera House to the adjacent Fire House building with an ADA compliant atrium and lobby offering safety upgrades and an elevator which will provide access to the second floor banquet facility at the Fire House.
The Opera House is the only performance space of its kind in Harford County and the project will serve to expand and enhance cultural and performing arts programming and economic opportunities in the region. “By investing in our historic district, the City of Havre de Grace, through state grant funding and capital investments has leveraged millions in private investment in the past decade. Arts and culture has been a major catalyst for reinvestment and neighborhood revitalization,” says Meghan Simmons, Manager of Economic Development. Foot traffic to the City’s Main Street will be increased and local youth and the disabled will be better served with increased accommodation and partnership with area organizations.
The total cost for the shovel ready project is $2.6 million dollars, with funding coming from a number of sources, including $250,000 in Maryland State Bond financing sponsored by Delegate Mary-Dulany James. Mayor Dougherty commented, “The City is grateful for the leadership and advocacy we received from Delegate James on this project. This will be a multi?year, phased project, and we look forward to working with her next year.” Other funding sources include a mix of state and federal grants, a capital campaign, and private fundraising. The City has already invested $300,000 in architectural fees, inspections, and building maintenance improvements since 2011. Plans for the project can be viewed online at