Renovated Norway Opera House scheduled to open soon

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NORWAY – Panes of glass have been installed in many of the first-floor storefronts of the historic Norway Opera House on Main Street.

With only a few weeks left before businesses are expected to open there, workers have begun replacing the plywood covering with energy-efficient, double-paned glass.

Town Manager David Holt told selectmen last week that the installation of the large window in the former Colonial Restaurant had been delayed due to finding the appropriate size glass. It was decided to install the window in two sections, he said.

The substitution must be approved by the National Parks Service, because it oversees the Register of National Historic Places program and sets the guidelines for renovations of buildings listed on the Register which are using federal dollars.

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The Opera House is the centerpiece of the downtown Norway National Historic District, which was designated in 1988. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places deemed worthy of preservation.

The three-story brick edifice was built in 1894. It was once the center of community activities, but has been vacant since a partial roof collapse in September 2007. The town took it by eminent domain in 2011 due to its unsafe condition and turned it over to the Norway Opera House Corporation this year.

Contractors have been working at the site for several months as part of a $1 million renovation project.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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