BRENHAM - The long awaited restoration project of the Simon Theater in Brenham is a little more than six months from finishing.
Simon Theater (2006). Courtesy: saveoursimon.org
It used to be the venue for fun and entertainment during the 1920's to the 1970's. It's taken only the last ten years to fund the project which is expected to bring business and new life to the historic city.
It's taken more than a decade for this renovation project to get going again. It's now fully funded, with more than $7 million dollars raised to complete the theater. $5 million of which came from Brenham residents alone through the "Save our Simon," fundraising campaign.
"We're coming up with a way to make this thing self-sustaining to where people aren't gonna have to put more money into it. It will generate revenues to pay for operation and maintenance," says Moorman.
Part of the first floor is completed and serves as the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The second floor of the building is 6,000 square-feet of space where the stage and balcony area will be renovated. Moorman says much of the colors and decor that made this historic building unique will remain. He says, "We're reconstructing the stage. Just doing everything. We've actually have paint consultants who have come in here to determine what the original paint colors were." The upstairs will also have meeting room space and a ballroom for entertainment.
Moorman says the Simon Theater will serve as a multi-purpose center. A meeting and conference center during the week and an entertainment venue on the weekends. An idea he says that's sure to generate money and jobs that will fan out to neighboring businesses in downtown Brenham.
Hal Moorman says the Brenham Main Street Historical Preservation Incorporated already has plans to expand.They will be seeking donations to help fund any future acquired space.
Renovation of the Simon Theater is expected to be completed by the end of this year with opening day planned for the Spring of 2015.