Quick Facts

Historic Significance of the Woodward

Research has shown that the Woodward is America’s Oldest Authentic 19th Century Theater still standing (there are no original pre-19th century theaters in America). Updated historical investigation has moved the first definitive event date in the Woodward Hall back to at least December 8-10, 1851, a lecture on electricity by Dr. J. F. Boynton.


National Ranking of the Woodward

The Woodward is the recipient of two federal “Save America’s Treasures” (SAT) grants. This particular grant is only for those projects recognized as being of national historic significance. Receipt of the grant is competitive and is measured against all other national projects from every part of the preservation universe. As a result, VERY FEW preservation projects receive SAT funding.

  • The Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program, started in 1999, has awarded 908 grants to 897 projects in the United States through 2006.  The SAT grant program was discontinued in 2010, but this does not affect projects who received grants in 2010 or before.
  • The Woodward Opera House ranks 15th out of the 897 projects selected nationally in the award amount granted ($1,035,941).
  • The Woodward Opera House ranks 2nd out of 45 Ohio projects selected in the award amount granted ($1,035,941).
  • The Woodward Opera House is one of only 11 projects selected nationally to receive two SAT grant awards.
  • The Woodward Opera House is the only project in Ohio to receive two SAT grant awards.


Phase 3X is COMPLETE - Partial Second Floor Restoration

The second floor restoration was 50% completed (300 sf) in 2012 to accommodate the offices of the Woodward Development Corporation and the Knox County Convention & Visitors Bureau as part of the sequencing of the final project completion.  As part of this effort, the third story floor/second story ceiling was reinforced for final structural requirements in the theater space.  Reproductions of wallpaper found in the Woodward were completed and hung in the second floor office spaces in December of 2013.


Phase 4 is Next - Theater Restoration & Annex Expansion Phase

The interior of the theater will be authentically restored. Additional structure will be added to the facility in the rear portion of the annex building permitting access to the stage area, adding arts support space, and permitting the addition of accessible elevators and required stairwells. The State of Ohio has awarded the project a $1.2 million grant for this portion of the project. Theater will be operational when done.



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.