Visiting Bent’s Opera House is like taking a trip back 150 years into history. Today, the property serves as a boutique hotel, luxury event space, and lavish farm-to-table restaurant. Flashback to 1865, and the three-story, 20,000 square foot building was a prominent venue in Medina, NY for concerts, plays, shows, commencements, elections, and other public events. P.T. Barnum and William “Buffalo Bill” Cody were among those to share their performances with the community from the stage at Bent’s Opera House.
The historic building is made of local Medina sandstone and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country, earning its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Like any structure with that many years of wear and tear, the opera house fell into disuse. In 2012, it was included on the Preservation League of New York State’s annual “Seven to Save” list. This list highlights valued historic resources that are in danger of disappearing.
Talis Equity then purchased the structure and began the early stages of renovating the space into an upscale boutique venue. The renovation began in 2018 and included the installation of 3.5 tons of steel on each of the building’s six timber trusses, replacement of the roof, restoration of the historic façade, and replacement of mechanical systems.
As a subconsultant to the construction contractor LeChase Construction, Encorus was responsible for numerous on-site inspections at the location, including concrete, soils, reinforcing and structural steel, fireproofing, and masonry. At the conclusion of these inspections, Encorus provided the LeChase with special inspections reports. The inspections and testing done by Encorus contributed towards the return of the building to its original grandeur and help to ensure the safety of its employees and guests for decades to come. It is also worth noting that the project earned LeChase the Buffalo Business First Historic Restoration Award for 2022.