New Bedford’s Zeiterion to Get $400,000 Tax Credit for Massive Rehab Project
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comments from New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.
NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford's historic Zeiterion Performing Arts Center will be getting a $400,000 tax credit from the state towards a massive $24 million rehabilitation project announced last year.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin announced the tax credit allocation on Tuesday.
"The Commonwealth’s investment in the historic Zeiterion Theater will ensure that people will be able to admire and enjoy this historic venue for years to come," he said.
Built in 1923 in the Georgian Revival style, the now-city-owned Zeiterion building is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
In 1956 the building — known as The State cinema at the time — hosted the world premiere of the film "Moby Dick," with a parade led by star Gregory Peck.
According to Galvin, the building has also been home to a travel agency and furniture store over the decades.
It was saved from destruction in the 1980s and turned over to the city for preservation.
Galvin's office stated that the current rehabilitation project will restore the theater and marquee and improve the aging building's accessibility, among other updates.
It will also restore the historic character of its upper windows, exterior, doors, and lobby.
Last November, Zeiterion President and CEO Rosemary Gill told WBSM's Jim Phillips that the project will transform the community as well as the building itself.
"It's probably one of the most ambitious public-private projects in recent years in the city," she said.
Now that the state has approved the tax credit, less than a third of the funding for the $24 million project needs to be raised.
Funds will likely come from federal historic tax credits and philanthropic as well as government sources, according to Gill.
"I would like to thank Secretary Galvin and the Massachusetts Historical Commission for their contribution to the Zeiterion’s major renovation," said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.
"The secretary and I discussed the project at length and he well appreciates its importance to the vitality of downtown businesses and the City’s cultural sector."