Renovation work is being done on a historic building in Beatrice thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.
Linda Grell, administrator of Keep Beatrice Beautiful, says the money is helping refurbish the Chautauqua Tabernacle, which was built for all types of lectures, performances and assemblies.
The building was constructed in 1889 and it’s on the National Registry of Historic Place. It was the largest and most expensive building in the West at that time.
Grell says some of the repair work, with the help of the city public properties department, is getting underway and the grant money bought paint for sprucing up the picnic tables.
There are some 60 picnic tables being painted and a construction company has already been contracted to replace some rotten boards on the roofline.
The 100-by-140-foot building’s exterior will also be scraped and painted in the coming weeks. In its day, the tabernacle hosted President Rutherford Hayes, Susan B. Anthony and William Jennings Bryan.
Other Nebraska cities that received Lowe’s grants this year include Omaha, Fremont and Alliance.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice