Elizabeth City Opera

Elizabeth City, NC

This was a revitalization of an early 20th century historic theater into a multi-use visual and performing arts center. In 2000, a second floor theater space was severely damaged when a main wood truss which spanned the central space collapsed due to wood decay. Of the remaining two roof trusses, we found that one truss was in relatively good condition but the other truss had total decay in four of the five 2x12’s that made up the bottom chord of the truss. In essence, the entire roof was being held up by a single 2x12 because if it had failed that truss would collapse, bringing down the remaining truss, the perimeter masonry walls, etc.

We worked with Progressive Contracting to stabilize, replace and reinforce the roof. The preliminary work was done from buckets and a crane because it was not safe inside the building. In 2005 we teamed up with Raleigh architectural firm Clearscapes to do an historical restoration of the building. This included repairing the second floor theater space, reinforcing badly deflected floor joists, adding ties to stabilize the exterior masonry walls, adding a new canopy, and many other miscellaneous repairs.