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The Arts Center at Dunham

Did you know that the Arts Center at Dunham is one of three remaining buildings of the Dunham Hospital complex - the first municipally owned tuberculosis sanitorium in the United States - dating back to 1879?

The Arts Center at Dunham is a splendid example of art deco architecture, designed by Samuel Hannaford and sons as the arts and recreation center for patients of the former Dunham Hospital. When you visit, be sure to notice not only the large auditorium, but the terrazzo floors, bronze entryway, art deco fixtures, and lower level classrooms. The hannaford firm designed several other historical buildings in Cincinnati, including Memorial Hall, Music Hall and City Hall.

Sunset Players, the resident theatre group of 35 years, signed a 25-year lease with the City of Cincinnati for the Dunham Arts Building at the Dunham Recreation Complex in July 2012, saving it from probable demolition. Sunset Players and the Arts Center at Dunham organization have assumed responsibilities for utilities, repairs, renovation, and restoration of the facility.

The Arts Center at Dunham is facing a minimum $150,000 expense to complete the repair and restoration of the building facade, in addition to approximately $100,000 to complete Phase Two of the upgrade and replacement of the aging HVAC system. We are also facing a significant cost to make the building handicap-friendly, and many other items that bring the immediate funding need to a current estimate of $750,000.

The Sunset Players are spearheading the project, but working with them are members of the Price Hill Will Arts CAT, the Price Hill Civic Club, the Price Hill Historical Society, and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. The "renovation" team, which is 100% volunteer, does as much as possible through volunteer hours in order to keep expenses low. As of December 31, 2018, over 20,000 volunteer hours have been logged, and we are rapidly approaching 25,000 hours.

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