LACONIA — The white, frame building at the corner of Union Avenue and Clinton Street in Lakeport, which houses a small theater, is scheduled to be sold at suction on Wednesday, March 4.
The building sits on a 0.2-acre lot and was originally constructed in 1885. It was known as the Opera House Block and for a time was home to the International Order of Odd Fellows. The first floor consists of 4,552-square-feet of retail space, most recently leased to a pawnbroker, but now vacant. The Lakeport Opera House is on the upper story where there is 9,240-square-feet of space. The property has an assessed value of $224,800.
"I would love to see someone restore it," Gerard Horn, the longtime owner of the building, said recently. "Demolition is the last option." He recalled that "20 or 30 years ago" members of the Streetcar Company approached him about acquiring the building and restoring the theater, but abandoned the project when the community theater group learned the cost of renovating the theater alone was $1 million.
Earlier this month members of the Heritage Commission toured the building.
Astride a busy intersection with limited on-street and off-street parking, the location has posed a challenge for commercial enterprises. The single story brick building next door stood empty for several years before a restaurant opened more than a year ago only to close in less than three months.
F.D. Peverly & Sons, auctioneers and appraisers, of Northfield are conducting the sale.
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