Center for the Arts
Antoinette Hall, also known as the Pulaski Opera House, was a performance venue that operated in Pulaski, Giles County, Tenn., U.S., from its opening on Dec. 25, 1868, until it closed in the late 1930s.
The building, is located on the east side of the public square facing the Giles County Courthouse and is a contributing structure to the Pulaski Courthouse Square Historic District, which was placed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior in 1985.
The two-story Second Empire exterior of Antoinette Hall has been altered substantially from its original grandeur and is in need of extensive stabilization and restoration.
The Opera House’s Mansard roof that rises above the roofline of other commercial buildings on the public square creates a the illusion of a three-story building.
However, the roof once enclosed an ornate performance hall replete with lavish wall coverings and fixtures. It offered perfect acoustics for patrons seated in the balcony or on the main floor.
The renderings to the right illustrate what can be done to restore the Opera House. An effort is underway to raise the funds necessary to preserve, restore and reuse the beautiful building.
June 1, 2019 – STAAR Theatre Receives a $550,000 State Grant to Aid in Restoration of Historic Antoinette Hall
A $550,000 State of Tennessee grant has been awarded to Giles County’s STAAR Theatre to aid in the restoration of the 1868 Antoinette Hall Opera House.
“After several months of hard work by State Senator Joey Hensley and State Representative Clay Doggett, the Board of Directors of STAAR Theatre received the wonderful news last week that the State had approved the funds to move forward with the restoration,” said Tammy Pierchoski, Executive Director of the non-profit 501c3 organization that owns the historic building. “They understood the value this project has for our region and Tennessee and both went to bat for us.”
Pierchoski said that as the building enters its 151st year, headway is being made toward the $8 million fundraising campaign for preservation, restoration and adaptive reuse of the National Register of Historic Places listed building into a center for the performing and visual arts.
“Last year the City of Pulaski expressed support of the effort by awarding an $100,000 grant to restore the roof of Antoinette Hall,” Pierchoski said. “That work began last month and will put the at-risk building in a safer position.”
Pierchoski pointed out that the State’s award as well as the commitment by the City of Pulaski fit into Governor Bill Lee’s rural development plans that include a chance for children growing up in rural Tennessee to have the same access to experience the performing and visual arts as young people growing up in Nashville.
“At STAAR, our all-volunteer staff have been providing just that kind of training by professionals in their fields with a focus on our young people and future leaders for almost two decades,” Pierchoski said.
STAAR Theatre and Antoinette Hall supporters will be invited to a fundraising luncheon with Governor Lee, Senator Hensley and Representative Doggett when they present the check later this year.
“It will be another opportunity for the community to demonstrate to our elected officials that this project, which has served thousands of adult and youth participants, guests and tourists, is important to Giles County’s quality of life,” Pierchoski said.
To keep abreast of developments, learn more about the history of Antoinette Hall, find out about upcoming performances and more, register for the STAAR monthly newsletter at antoinettehall.com. Antoinette Hall needs your support. Please donate today.
The millinery shop operated out of the first floor of Antoinette Hall from the late 1800s through around 1909.
Opera House built in 1868 on the historic square in Pulaski, Tennessee
Antoinette Hall (above) was photographed from the balcony by Nashville Channel 5 in 2015 for a news feature. Singer Eric Paslay's video, "She Don't Love You," used special effects to "restore" the interior at the end of the video (below). Unfortunately, it is not restored, though this video illustrates what could be done to save and showcase the beautiful architecture.
Early 1900s (above) and present day (below) view of Pulaski's east side courthouse square.