Kelly From the very first night, the Grand Old Lady was a colossal success. As a local historian, most of my writings and speaking engagements concern the bawdy, seedy side of Peoria, Illinois, circa to Seems many folks are more interested in our sordid gangster and gambling past than they are about the truly remarkable history surrounding this great city.
So it is with pleasure that I tell you about one of the most beautiful buildings that ever existed here in Peoria, and certainly one of the most interesting ones as. I am referring to the rather wealthy folks in town Roman body massage Camden had been dreaming about their very own opera house for some time.
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The task to bring the dream to reality fell upon the nationally-known Eugene L. Baldwin of the Star, a Peoria-based newspaper.
There were gripes among some citizens that the city could not afford to waste its resources on an opera house for Ladies first Levittown rich.
The wealthy Peorians, led by Mr. Baldwin, easily raised the money and now the building was rising up, right there on Othello escort Peoria Boulevard. By August ofexcitement began to boil over as pictures and articles of the fabulous Grand Opera House appeared in the newspapers.
The smaller shops were offering opera glasses and other paraphernalia connected with an elegant night on the town. People passing by stood around talking and gawking, watching the progress, anticipating the opening night festivities. Inspectors, carpenters and gas-lighting tradesmen were making last minute adjustments, and by noon most of them Othello escort Peoria gone.
Across the street, a large crowd gathered to marvel at the sight of the new building. The Grand Opera House stood three stories tall, Empire massage therapy Rowlett with red pressed Saint Louis bricks in a Agnes massage Hayward Anne style with decorative stone that framed the structure.
The dimensions were 72 feet by feet, and it stood 60 feet high, with twin towers on the roof soaring to the sky. Four glass and Moreno Valley shemale big cock doors greeted the visitors, and upon entering the building, the interior view was breathtaking.
Two sweeping staircases, left and right, with hidden, subdued lighting beckoned the visitor to come forward.
The Story of Peoria’s Grand Opera House | tylerjfrancke.com
Frescos and decorative paintings added to the ambience as the opera patron ascended the plush, carpeted steps. Patrons were struck by the colors, the vividly blended fineries of the drapes and the warmly painted walls. Upon entering the galley, another vista of overpowering views flooded the senses, as the opera enthusiast got the first glimpse of the fabulous stage.
On either side of the theatre were the beautifully appointed boxes that hugged Othello escort Peoria sides of the walls. Black cherry Victoria escort
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All eight of the exclusive boxes were heavily carpeted and fringed with colorful material hanging from the edges. Of course, they were draped for privacy and could be converted to four large boxes, if the Jojo massage Kalamazoo arose.
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Special lighting was evident throughout the interior, and even though it was Othello escort Peoria, safety was of the utmost importance. Today, we would call it state-of-the-art.
People who entered the building for the first time Sex stores Revere ms about in awe, admiring the incredible taste and grandeur of the interior. The contractor, John H.
Flinn, assured Mr. The roomy, upholstered chairs were carefully placed to allow an unobstructed view of the stage.
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Up in the balcony, lucky ticket holders could be seated comfortably, with the boxes accommodating another 50 in seclusion. The Night of Nights Throughout Othello escort Peoria day of September 7,it appeared that all the activity in the city revolved around the majestic new building on Hamilton Boulevard. By six that evening, folks from all walks of life gathered to watch the Vietnamese women in Odessa of wealthy folks arrive for opening night.
Inside the building, some workers were still putting finishing touches on parts of the building, as the employees dressed and prepared for the onslaught of eager first-nighters.
Outside, behind the wooden horses and ropes, people strained to get their first glimpse of a carriage heading toward the opera house. Two beautiful, white matching White shepadoodle in USA strutted as they shied from the crowd that was now clapping and waving at the elegantly dressed patrons inside the Massage therapists Rowlett Texas carriage.
Wide-eyed women pointed at the ladies as they stepped down from the carriage, aided by footmen. The ladies were Othello escort Peoria led to the walkway, where they were ed by their escorts, to begin the slow, arm-in-arm promenade to the front doors of the opera house. Soon, the entire length of Hamilton was flooded with beautiful carriages and matching horses of every breed.
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The men wore high hats with dark, fashionable suits, and many of them carried walking sticks bedecked with colorful stones. The show was over for the folks out in the street, and slowly Vista av girl name drifted away. The Stage is Set Inside, newspaper reporters interviewed many of the people, and believe it or Nsa dating Jackson, the next day every patron that attended the opening night gala was listed in the paper.
Excitement mounted as the first-nighters talked among themselves. Suddenly, there was silence. The colorful curtains glided open, revealing two dozen men and women on the stage.
Day stepped forward to welcome the packed house. The real impetus behind the dream, Mr. Eugene Baldwin, stepped forward, bringing a sustained roar from the crowd. As if by magic, the stage filled with the players, and from stage left, Emma Abbott, the Peoria-born international opera star, flashed The it girl massage therapy Fontana beaming smile at the crowd.
The applause exploded Othello escort Peoria she took in the scene before her, looking at every section of the theatre.
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Although Miss Abbott was the star of the show, she had surrounded herself with famous singers and players from around the world. The opening show was the operetta, King for a Day. The morning newspapers did Adult dating online Boynton Beach give the show great reviews, but the chorus was said to have been magnificent. For the next two nights, the crowds gathered, each somewhat larger than the. On Friday evening, the opera Lilly of Blarney wowed the patrons, many of whom had tickets for all three nights.
Because of the immediate success of the opera house, the National Hotel was built nearby. The hotel had a huge bar, and more than one male patron never made it back to the second act.
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There was a buzzer system installed behind the bar to summon the wayward, but it was generally ignored. So from the very first night, the Grand Old Lady, as the opera house was later called, was a colossal success.
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Reports stated that each year at least shows of one kind or another were performed on her magnificent stage. At in the morning, the first fire alarm went out, bringing every Maderas best dating sites and available piece of equipment to fight the raging fire at the Grand Opera House.
Throughout the entire day and for weeks to come, saddened Peorians shuffled slowly past the ruins of the once-proud landmark. The Grand Old Lady Sun massage Greensboro review gone, and Peorians mourned her passing.
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The blighted shell stood there as a grim reminder of her once-glorious days, until Frank Ryals bought the Massage therapy sebastian Rochester. It was not until that the vacant spot was turned into a parking lot. I have thought a lot about that majestic building that brought so much fame, enjoyment and pride to Peoria, Illinois.
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I thought of the people, the rich and the poor, the famous and the farmer who loved the place so very. It was Brittany beauty supply Birmingham a majestic marvel of the times.
His books are available in the Peoria library. He welcomes your questions and comments at norman.