Chautauqua Renovations In Shelbyville

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Shelbyville – Targeted for demolition a year ago, work will soon begin on renovating the historic Chautauqua building in Forest Park.

“The city has agreed to spend $50,000 of their money to go along with the money that our committee raised,” said Mark Shanks co-chair of the Chautauqua Auditorium and Preservation Committee.  Last year the city looked demolishing the building.

In the initial phases of the restoration project over $89,000 will be spent on structural repairs.  An additional $27,000 to $40,000 will be spent for emergency roof repairs.  Storms last winter damaged the roof on the building which opened in 1903.

At one time the Chautauqua was the center of major events in Shelby County.  It was used for church revivals, concerts, performances, weddings and political speeches over the years.

Eventually, additional funds will be raised for the rest of the facility.  Bathrooms will be added, possibly heating & air conditioning, along with a museum.

“With the big walls and round structure we can have kind of a museum in the round," Shanks told WAND News.  “We'll have displays and artifacts on the walls that will show the history of the Shelbyville area.”

Raffle tickets are being sold for $10 each to raise money for the restoration work.  The drawing will be held October 11, 2014 for a .22 caliber Golden Boy rifle.

Donations can be made on-line using a credit card at: www.shelbyvillechautauqua.com

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