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Final Phase of Cather Center Construction Underway

Final Phase of Cather Center Construction Underway

Friday, December 11, 2015

With the final phase of construction successfully launched in September, a vibrant new life is in store for a once forgotten and dilapidated historic building adjacent to our Red Cloud Opera House. Known as The Moon Block locally and The Duke Block in Cather’s The Song of the Lark, the fully restored building will become permanent home to the National Willa Cather Center next year.

“After many years of planning and fundraising, beginning our final phase of construction is a milestone in recognizing Willa Cather’s place as one of America’s greatest novelists. We are thankful to more than 480 individuals and foundations nationwide who have made this possible,” said Board President, Tom Gallagher.

When complete in 2016, the Moon Block will house a state-of-the-art archive, museum and arts center called The National Willa Cather Center. The primary goal of the project is to preserve and provide access to the archival papers, photographs, textiles, and artifacts that constitute our ever-expanding collection. The restoration shall also provide space for a classroom, enlarged backstage facilities for our Red Cloud Opera House, exhibition space, an expanded bookstore, loft apartments for visitors, and street-level retail spaces.

With final bids and finishing costs 4% above the initial project budget, we continue the last stage of our capital campaign to raise the remaining $160,000 needed to fully fund the project. The initial campaign goal of $6.7 million was reached in June when a generous anonymous donor put us over the top. To date, over $6.8 million has been raised in private gifts, grants, and historic preservation tax credits.

Friends and supporters are invited to make a gift or extend an existing pledge to help us complete the campaign. Gifts may be made over a 5 year period and naming and recognition opportunities are available at various giving levels. For more information, please contact Ashley Olson, Executive Director at 866-731-7304 or aolson@willacather.org.