The historic renovation of Bent’s Opera House in Medina, N.Y., has received the Barber Conable Award from the Landmark Society of Western New York. Named in honor of the former Genesee County Congressman, the award is the Society’s most prestigious honor for large-scale rehabilitation of a historic building in the region.
Built more than 150 years ago, Bent’s Opera House once attracted prominent speakers like Frederick Douglas and entertainers like P.T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. After its theater closed, the building served other uses – as a drug store, doctors office and bank. After being vacant for years, the building was ultimately purchased by Talis Equity. In 2018, the new owners embarked on a project to turn the facility – along with the two-story Bickford Building next door – into a destination for locals as well as visitors from across Western New York and beyond.
LeChase was construction manager for the renovation, with Kideney Architects serving as the design firm. Working collaboratively with the owners, the project team handled challenges that ranged from addressing massive structural deficiencies to replicating the smallest historic details of the property.
Reopened in 2021, today Bent’s Opera House offers:
- Harvest, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant that buys from local farmers, on the 1st floor.
- A boutique hotel featuring ten eclectic guestrooms, each with its own unique furnishings and décor, on the 2nd
- A beautifully restored theater – with space and amenities for dances, weddings, concerts and other events – on the 3rd