Tours of Goss available each Thursday

Thursday nights will get even more lively in downtown Watertown.

To go along with the weekly live music performances and other summer activities that make up Thursday Night Live, Friends of the Goss began offering public tours of the historic Goss Opera House, which is undergoing extensive renovations.

According to Kristen Henderson, marketing committee chair, FoG plans to offer at least two tours during each TNL event, likely starting at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at no cost to attendees.

The planned tours come after FoG saw about 50 people go through on tours of the Goss at this past Thursday’s TNL event.

“There’s definite excitement,” Henderson said Friday. “When people are on these tours, they’re just so grateful for the renewed energy and efforts going into saving and lighting up the Goss.”

Although the Goss is not expected to be fully operational until early next year, visitors have seen previews of what’s likely to come.

With FoG envisioning the historic building built in 1889 to have sustainable retail operations and a restaurant, visitors are already getting a good idea for the Goss’ potential with the presence of Coco & Finn. The clothing store has temporarily relocated to the Goss due to construction along U.S. Highway 212.

“I think with Coco & Finn being in there, people are thinking, ‘Oh, this would be great to have this retail location,’ or ‘Add another retail location here,’” Henderson said. “Of course, having a restaurant would be a big (thing).”

With each passing week, the final vision becomes a bit closer to reality. According to Henderson, work is being done on the bank building windows and renovating the buildings ground floor for retail space.

“That’s going to lends itself to a more grand staircase to enter the opera hall,” Henderson said.

Henderson said work has noticeably progressed.

“We’re starting to take the boards off the windows on the third floor in event space in the bank building,” she said. “That’s really starts to make a difference. Once we get the boards off, that just presents a much better picture of downtown Watertown.”

Henderson reiterated FoG’s plan to keep the public informed throughout the renovation process via regular updates through the media and postings on The Goss Opera House Facebook page and its official website

“We want the community involved,” she said. “We’re open to presenting to any service clubs or any organizations that are curious about what’s going on.”