Discover this restored Decorah treasure with a self-guided tour of the Hotel Winneshiek and Steyer Opera House, listed within the National Register of Historic Places.
Joseph B. Steyer opened Steyer's Opera House in December, 1870. The building construction was originally meant to house commercial establishments on the first floor, offices and apartments on the second floor and a splendid hall on the third floor. Total cost to construct the building was $53,000.
The Opera House today is adorned with five chandeliers, pressed tin ceilings, mezzanine seating for 54 people, additional upper level seating and main floor seating for 250 and beautiful big bold windows looking out to Water Street.
The Opera House was once used for political rallies, a 4-lane bowling alley, wrestling matches, basketball games, roller skating, dances, plays...lots of events! Today, the Opera House is mostly used for weddings, conferences and other special events.
In 1997 Helen Basler purchased the property and began a 2-year project to restore the building to its original grandeur. Like Joseph Steyer, Helen Basler was a wonderful visionary.
In 2009, The Steyer Opera House, conference center and adjoining Hotel Winneshiek were purchased by Rebound Enterprises, Inc., an investment company that provides strategic advisory services to clients in the real estate, manufacturing, banking and hospitality industries. The future ahead is really exciting for the hotel, an ever changing, ever growing facility for all to enjoy and experience.