Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The Orleans Renaissance Group’s work towards restoring Bent’s Hall has largely been behind the scenes — acquiring grants, organizing musical events and raising awareness about the project. But board members are optimistic that the first signs of physical progress at the historic Medina opera house will soon be visible.
ORG Treasurer Andrew Meier told renaissance group board members Wednesday that some of the funds received by the group could be put towards demolition work at the first-floor storefront. By removing the precast archways, Meier said ORG would reveal the cast iron that was original to the building.
“It would send a strong indication to the community that things are happening,” Meier said. “We’ll be able to see what we have to work with.”
Renaissance Group Vice President Chris Busch said that the work would allow ORG to better market the historic appeal of the first-floor business space.
”After the roof, the facade is the next biggest thing,” said Busch, who hinted that additional “dressing up” of Bent’s Hall will be done in advance of Olde Tyme Christmas.
The renaissance group’s board met Wednesday at the Shirt Factory Cafe to discuss both areas of progress and a series of events planned to raise funding for the reconstruction of the 1860s theatre. Chief among the highlights were a series of funding streams either realized or close at hand.
According to Meier, a $2,000 grant from the Preservation League of New York, which earlier this year designated Bent’s Hall as a “Seven to Save” project, will allow the renaissance group to engage Bero Architecture PLLC of Rochester for an engineering review.
Meier said that John Bero, whose firm specializes in historic preservation, will tour the opera house and meet with board members Friday as part of a review of ORG’s plans. He would assist the group in making their plan meet state building codes.