Woodward Development Corporation

The Woodward Opera House restoration project began many years ago as public awareness concerning the Woodward was heightened through the efforts of groups like the Knox County Renaissance Foundation. Many individual community members contributed time and energy to the initial stages of the effort, such as Gail Peelman and Peter Dickson.

In 1995, KPAC - The Knox Partnership for Arts & Culture was created. Its mission was established to support the arts throughout Knox County, beginning with the restoration and operation of the Woodward as an arts facility.

The Woodward Development Corporation (WDC) was organized in 1996 for the purpose of purchasing and managing the Woodward Opera House facilities. The large volunteer base is led by a board of trustees made up of leaders from the county’s business, social-service, arts, and civic sectors. The WDC Board of Trustees acts as the landlord to the current business tenants in the Woodward and Annex buildings, manages the day-to-day business of the project, and plans for and conducts the long term Woodward restoration program. The Woodward Development Corporation (WDC), an IRS designated 501(c)(3) organization, follows sound fiscal policy, voluntarily performs an audit on an annual basis using an independent public auditor, and files an IRS 990 form each year.

WDC purchased the Woodward building in May of 1998 and the adjacent building for use as an annex in March of 2000. After acquisition, WDC began detailed historic and archeological research, as well as structural analysis, aimed at establishing the physical evolution of the buildings to permit an authentic restoration process. In addition, KPAC began laying the ground work developing plans for the community arts as it relates to the Woodward facility.

The WDC office, staffed by a part time and volunteer staff, is located at 107 South Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon. The Woodward is open for tours each Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to noon from June through September. For current business or tour information, contact the WDC at [email protected] or call (740) 392-6142 during normal business hours.

Board of Trustees

Chair - Larry Grindle (Zelkowitz, Barry & Cullers - Attorney/CPA - Mount Vernon)

Vice Chair - Maureen Buchwald (Glen Hill Orchards - Mount Vernon)

Treasurer - Chuck Kindel (Retired Business Executive - Knox Partnership for Arts & Culture - Mount Vernon)

Secretary - Pat Crow* (Woodward Project Manager - Director, Knox County CVB - Mount Vernon)

Member - Ann Laudeman (Kahrl Family - Mount Vernon)

Member - Doug Leonard (Vice President, First-Knox National Bank - Mount Vernon)

Member - Richard K. Mavis (Mayor, City of Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon)

Member - Susan Ramser (Ohio Cumberland Gas, Knox Co. Historical Society - Mount Vernon)

Member - Sarah Goslee Reed (Knox County Symphony - Mount Vernon)

* Ex-officio Members



Contact Information

The Woodward Opera House,

107 South Main Street
Mount Vernon, OH 43050

(740) 392-6102
(800) 837-5282

[email protected]


Engage arts and community leadership to authentically restore the Woodward Opera House into a fully functional theater operation, develop the overall Woodward facility into a contemporary self-sustaining arts center for community interaction, become a catalyst for excellence in education, encourage civic engagement, and enrich the quality of life in the Mount Vernon ~ Knox County, Ohio area.