The US is European in the same way that classical Agrigento was Greek despite being in Sicily.
I was shocked to read the following article regarding Columbia's hope to raze beautiful townhouses on 115th Street. Until now, I respected Columbia.
The US is European in the same way that classical Agrigento was Greek despite being in Sicily.
437 Fifth Avenue, northwest corner of 18th Street
New York, N.Y. 10011
Chickering Hall, considered one of the finest designs by architect George B. Post (1837-1913), was located on Fifth Avenue in the entertainment district around Union Square. The four-story building was faced with red brick and trimmed in brownstone and gray marble. It was erected by Chickering & Sons to house a music store, warehouse and concert hall. The 1,450-seat Chickering Hall, which opened on Monday evening, November 15th, 1875, occupied the second and third floor space. In addition to musical concerts, Chickering Hall programs included lectures by Oscar Wilde and Thomas H. Huxley, operas, religious conferences, and even the first interstate telephone call—made by Alexander Graham Bell in 1877—to New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chickering Hall's popularity lasted less than two decades, since many smaller events formerly held in Chickering Hall had been moved to the new Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, and popular concert entertainment had found a new home at Carnegie Hall. Moreover, the 25-year lease on the property could not be renewed, so a move would be necessary. Chickering & Sons transferred the agency for city piano sales to the John Wanamaker stores, and by 1893 the building had been completely transformed to retail space. In 1901, the building was sold, to be razed and replaced by a store and loft building.
Chickering Hall was located at 130 Fifth Avenue (aka 1 West 18th Street).
Some of the other entertainment venues in the area around that same time (circa 1885):MUSEUMS & THEATRES, AND OTHER PLACES OF AMUSEMENT.
Academy of Design, Fourth Ave. and 23d.
Academy of Music, Irving Pl. and 14th.
Bijou Opera House, Broadway and 30th.
Casino, Broadway and 39th.
Chickering Hall, Fifth Ave. and 18th.
Daly's Theatre, Broadwayand 30th.
Eden Musee, 23d and Sixth Ave.
Fifth Avenue Theatre, Broadway and 28th.
Fourteenth Street Theatre, 14th bet. Sixth and Seventh Aves.
Grand Opera House, Eighth Ave. and 23d.
Harrigan's Park Theatre, Broadway and 35th.
Koster and Bial's, 23d and Sixth Ave.
Lyceum Theatre, Fourth Ave. and 23d.
>>> NYC buildings which housed some of the institutions listed above:
National Academy of Design
The Academy was housed in the building seen below from at least 1861 to 1863, and most likely until the 1870s (the building was patterned after the Doge's Palace in Venice).
This FLYER from @ 1868 shows the building to be at "The corner of Twenty-third Street and Fourth Avenue" (That stretch of Fourth Avenue is now Park Avenue South; the Academy is now housed at 1083 Fifth Avenue):
National Academy of Design, NYC 1861 (Arch.: Peter Bonnett Wight)
Some additional images, both of the full Academy building and some details of same HERE
The Academy of Music
14th Street, NYC
Academy of Music, 1870
The Bijou Theatre, 1239 Broadway at 30th Street (circa 1909; opened as the Brighton Theatre, 1878). The site is now a narrow ~ 16-story building in the heart of the knick-knack-alley stretch of Broadway below Herald Square.
The Casino Theatre, 1404 Broadway -- opposite the old Metropolitan Opera House (Constructed 1882, burned 1906 and reconstructed; demolished 1930).
A larger image of the photo of the Casino. The Musical comedy Revival then advertised on the marquee, The Belle of New York, had a very short run of 24 performances in the winter of 1900.
Experience, "a play with music in three acts" ran at the Casino from January 11, 1915 through May 19, 1915 ...
"Casino Theatre, Street Scene" (1915) © Bettmann/CORBIS
More info on the Casino.
Daly's Theatre, 1868-1880
24th St. (5th and Madison), New York, NY
(Later Hoyt's Theatre, previously the Fifth Avenue Opera House, 1865)
Built: 1865 Demolished: 1908
In 1865, the Christy Minstrels converted an illegal stock exchange (adjacent to the Fifth Avenue Hotel) into a theatre. Later, Augustin Daly managed it from 1869 to 1873, when it burned down, only to be rebuilt in 1877. Steele MacKaye renovated it and renamed it the Madison Square in 1879, and it boasted a number of theatrical innovations, including gas lights, folding chairs, and a primitive version of air-conditioning. It was razed in 1908 and replaced by an office building.
The Eden Musee
55 West 23rd Street, NY
The Eden Musee Collection
The Eden Musee’ was founded in 1883 and was located on Twenty-third street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Manhattan. A popular destination point for visitors to New York City for over thirty years it was America’s answer to Madame Tussaud’s Waxwork in London.
In December of 1915 the Manhattan site closed, a victim of changing times and urban development and an abridged version opened at Coney Island. Sadly what remained of the original collection burned at Coney Island in February 1932.
Our Eden Musee’ Collection is an attempt to recapture and preserve the style and feeling of this once great American waxworks. We have made no attempts to restrict ourselves to exhibits described in the surviving guidebooks, but rather have created a series of effigies that would have been contemporary during its Manhattan heyday, making this series an homage to this mighty exhibition rather than a slavish, historical reproduction.
http://blog.chess.com/batgirlThe Eden Musée, a three-story architectural hodgepodge of arches, pilasters, and ormolu at 55 West Twenty-third Street, was opened to the public in 1884 ... The sponsors of the Musée, a predominantly French syndicate founded by Count Kessler and headed by a New Yorker named Richard G. Hollaman — achieved a prose style as unctuous as an undertaker's in describing their establishment. It was, their advertisements proclaimed, "a Temple of Art without rival in this country, affording to all an opportunity for instruction, amusement and recreation, without the risk of coming into contact with anything or anybody that is vulgar or offensive." James Huneker, the critic, writing in the Times, once called the Musée the world's greatest assemblage of the "ludicrous and horrible." The public, tutored by its horse-car conductors, took to calling the place Moosie.
The Eden Musee, circa 1900:
Eden Musee as commemorated at the NY Botanical Garden:
Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
Grand Opera House
NW corner of Eighth Avenue & 23rd Street
Built 1868; razed 1960
Photo by Berenice Abbott, from the New York Public Library (1937).
Harrigan's Park Theatre
67 West 35th Street
Architect: Francis Hatch Kimball
Built: 1890 Demolished: 1932
A parking structure until 2006, on this site is now a Peter Poon / Hilton Garden Inn
***Built by Edward Harrigan (of Harrigan & Hart), who managed until 1895, when Richard Mansfield took over, renaming it the Garrick. Charles Frohman assumed management in 1896, staying until in 1915. The Shuberts bought it in 1916 and leased it to Otto Kahn, who named it Theatre du Vieux Columbier (for an avant-garde French company). Later, he gave it to the Theatre Guild. The Shuberts resumed management in 1925. After three years of burlesque, it was razed in 1932.
Koster and Bial's Music Hall
135 West 34th Street
Built: 1892; Razed: 1901
Origins of Business, flickr
The "lounge" at Koster & Bial's, 1892:
Fourth Avenue & West 23rd Street
Built: 1884; Demolished: 1902
Final Performance: March 22, 1902
Replaced by what is now the oldest legitimate theater in NYC,
the grand & glorious New Lyceum on West 45th Street
just east of Broadway (recent home to "Title of Show")
Nice coverage of some art venues. Here's one of the all-time greats:
Roxy Theatre 153 W. 50th St.; 1927-1960; Walter W. Ahlschlager
" On March 11, 1927, the Roxy Theatre opened at 761 Seventh Avenue in New York City. Named after its creator, the film exhibitor Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel, and designed by the Chicago architect, Walter W. Ahlschlager, the Roxy was the largest and arguably the most elaborate movie palace ever built.
This self–proclaimed "Cathedral of the Motion Picture" had 5,886 seats*, employed a staff of 300 (including 16 projectionists, 110 musicians, and 2 trained nurses), and cost $12 million to build. The theater contained a complete hospital with an operating room, a 550–ton ice–cooling plant, and its own radio broadcasting studio. Sensors in each seat were wired to a centrally located wall chart of the theater's seating plan. By observing which lights were on or off on this wall chart, the ushers could quickly see which seats were not occupied. Among many other "firsts", this was the first movie theater to use a rear–projection system developed by the Trans–Lux Daylight Picture Screen Corporation.
A typical two–hour program at the Roxy, which originally changed every week, would begin with an elaborate live ballet on the Roxy's large stage followed by a news reel. The news reel, in turn, was followed by a talented chorus that would perform either an original composition, popular songs, or a classical arrangement. When this ended, three shafts of rose–colored light would illuminate three massive organ consoles as they rose from the orchestra pit. The three organists would entertain the audience, take their bows, and then play a parting tune as their consoles sank slowly below the rail. The 110–piece symphony orchestra, which had been accompanying the live entertaiment, would finish with one or more classical pieces. Then the feature film would be shown, and if it was a silent picture the orchestra would provide appropriate background music.
The Roxy Theatre interior 1927.It is claimed that 50 million people visited the theater in its first 12 years of operation. A cartoon, published shortly after the Roxy opened, shows a young child and his mother standing in the theater's huge lobby. Overcome with awe, the child asks, "Does God live here?"
The Roxy closed on March 29, 1960.
After some protest it was demolished in 1961. Worst of all, this godawful mid-rise piece of trash replaced it (behind the Taft-Michelangelo):
Gloria Swanson amidst the ruins of The Roxy (October 1960)
Miss Swanson, in Jean Louis sheath & $170,000 worth of jewels, laments the loss of one of NYC's grand palaces.
© Time Inc. Photo: Eliot Elisofon
Another big one that got away ...
The Metropolitan Opera House
Broadway & 39th Street
Built: 1889; Razed: 1967
Built 1880-1883 by Josiah Cleaveland Cady for a group of businessmen.
Opened 22 Oct 1883 with Gounod's "Faust". 1883 addition
of two office towers to each side of the building. 1892 interior
damaged by fire, subsequently rebuilt while removing 52 of
the original 122 boxes. 1940 removal of Grand Tier boxes.
3045 seats. Closed 1966 after the new "Metropolitan Opera House"
at Lincoln Center was opened.
Front Text: "Metropolitan Opera House Concert with
Pianist Joseph Hofmann, New York, Nov. 28, 1937"
Publisher: Photo/Chronicles Ltd., New York; S 2278
Type: postcard reproduction of an old photograph
Note the NY Times Tower (42nd & Broadway) in the background, sporting the original
ornate marble facade -- and the red brick of the grand Astor Hotel beyond, overlooking
the center of Times Square at Broadway & 44th.
© Bettmann/CORBIS Metropolitan Opera House, 1912
Why? NYC needed office buildings, places for paper to be pushed, preferably in the box-style with little to no masonry.
One Madison Ave (Met Life Main Building), 1893-1950s, The Beaux-Arts main building was demolished and replaced in the 1950s with the current 12-floor structure. In the 1960s, the neo-renaissance details were stripped from the tower itself, which remains beautiful despite that fact.
Before & After:
"Sometimes called the Field Office, this 258 foot building overlooking the Battery was finished in 1885 by Edward H. Kendall. Decorated in the Queen Anne style, it was originally covered in heavy dark red masonry, but was remodeled in 1921 with classical Roman-white limestone and mosaic details to be more fashionably Beaux-Arts looking."--http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Maze/9975/scurkem.html
Damn those Beaux-Art-istassss!
Hello everyone. I've missed you guys.
Randy Savage, this thread stopped me in my tracks...I thought I'd check in to reintroduce myself to the community, and wound up working my way through all of these pages. What an overwhelming experience, and when I finally reached the pictures of the Roxy, well...what can I say. I wish I could have experienced that place. It must have been a heavenly experience.
Thanks for this thread.
Aha - Welcome back, MG! I kept figuring you'd find your way home
I'm taking off on vacation for a couple of weeks so do what you can to hold down the fort while I'm away.
Thanks for the welcome, old friend. People like you and many of the other regulars drew me back...this is a special place. I received an email recently from one of the crew that made it even harder to stay away.
I hope you have an excellent vacation!