1601 Civic Dr. -- 1965
By the mid-1960s, community theater groups needed better performance
space. The City repurposed an obsolete walnut warehouse for its Civic Arts
Theatre & Gallery – affectionately nicknamed “The Nuthouse.” In 1990 – and after extensive private
fundraising – “The Nuthouse” was replaced with a new regional performing and
visual arts center, the Lesher Center for the Arts. The Center is named for
Dean and Margaret Lesher; Dean Lesher was the founder of the Contra Costa
Times and a significant supporter of arts and education.