Crosby's Opera House

Chicago, United States

Crosby's Opera House

Crosby's Opera House (1865–1871) was an opera house in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was founded by Uranus H. Crosby in 1865 with the goal of advancing the arts in Chicago by bringing opera to the city. The five-story building was designed by William W. Boyington and contained statues of painting, sculpture, music and commerce that welcomed visitors as they entered through the arch of the building. After holding only occasional performances, Crosby ran into many business difficulties that resulted in a decision to sell the building in 1866. The Crosby Opera House Art Association was formed to help Crosby sell the building by lottery. The lottery distributed over 210,000 tickets, awarding purchasers great works of art and even the building itself. After being sold back to Crosby by the lottery winner, A.H. Lee, the hall began producing more consistent performances. The opera house stood for less than six and a half years before it was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and was never rebuilt.




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