Belfast’s Jewel in the Crown sparkles once again!
Belfast’s Grand Opera House has lifted the curtain on the magnificent newly restored exterior of one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings. Over the past four months, the outside of the Theatre has undergone extensive restoration, cleaning and painting.
Opened on 23 December 1895, the imposing façade, built of brick and cast stone, features an eclectic mix of ornamental elements including decorative columns and oriental style onion-domes and minarets, all of which have been expertly restored, cleaned and repainted.
The Theatre’s iconic statue of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, situated on the corner of the building has undergone a stunning transformation. The statue, which originally held aloft an electric lit torch, has been fully restored and once again shines bright above Great Victoria Street having been gold leafed, thanks to a private donation.
The restoration, cleaning and painting project, paid for by the Grand Opera House Trust, was managed by Patrick F O’Reilly Limited in conjunction with Consarc Design Group, and was delivered by a team of skilled specialists including Clarke Restoration, Oakridge Carpentry and Joinery Limited, McCrory Access and D Harkin and Co Roofing Limited.
Together with the Grand Opera House Trust, Ian Wilson and his team are currently putting together the final plans for a significant restoration project for 2020 that will see the unique auditorium returned to its former glory, in time to celebrate the Grand Opera House’s 125th anniversary in December 2020