#197 Civic Arts Theatre ("Nuthouse")

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.