Historic Significance of the Woodward
Research has shown that the Woodward is America’s Oldest Authentic 19th Century Theater still standing (there are no original pre-19th century theaters in America). Updated historical investigation has moved the first performance date in the Woodward Hall back to at least December 8-10th, 1851.
National Ranking of the Woodward
The Woodward is the recipient of two federal “Save America’s Treasures” (SAT) grants. This particular grant is only for those projects recognized as being of national historic significance. Receipt of the grant is competitive and is measured against all other national projects from every part of the preservation universe. As a result, VERY FEW preservation projects receive SAT funding.
- The Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, started in 1999, has awarded 908 grants to 897 projects in the United States through 2006.
- The Woodward Opera House ranks 15th out of the 897 projects selected nationally in the award amount granted ($1,035,941).
- The Woodward Opera House ranks 2nd out of 45 Ohio projects selected in the award amount granted ($1,035,941).
- The Woodward Opera House is one of only 11 projects selected nationally to receive two SAT grant awards.
- The Woodward Opera House is the only project in Ohio to receive two SAT grant awards.
Phase 3 is COMPLETE - Abating Asbestos Lead Paint, plus Exterior Restoration
The exterior of the Woodward building was completely restored in 2007, except the lower storefront facades that will be addressed in a later phase. As part of Phase 3, the asbestos was completely removed from the building pair. In addition, the exterior lead based paint was removed, the masonry and windows were restored, plus other related renovation work was completed.
Phase 4 is Next - Theater Restoration & Annex Expansion Phase
The interior of the theater will be authentically restored. Additional structure will be added to the facility in the rear portion of the annex building permitting access to the stage area, adding arts support space, and permitting the addition of accessible elevators and required stairwells. The State of Ohio has awarded the project a $1.2 million grant for this portion of the project. Theater will be operational when done.