Old Metropolitan Opera House

1411 Broadway (between 39th and 40th streets)

40.754167, -73.9875

Opened: 1883, Demolished 1967

The first Metropolitan Opera House was located on this site just south of Times Square. It was designed by J. Cleaveland Cady and opened on 10/22/1883 with a production of Faust. Despite its lovely design and acoustics, the property lines resulted in cramped dressing rooms and inadequate storage and rehearsal space.

Precarious finances in the 1950s led the company to begin pursuit of a larger space that would provide increased seating and a better technical facilities while permitting the company to sell this valuable midtown lot. The company eventually joined with the New York Philharmonic as one of the anchor tenants in Robert Moses' Lincoln Center complex. The company relocated in 1966 and the old building was razed in 1967 to make way for a comparatively undistinguished office building.

More photos of the old opera house (including interiors) can be viewed in the Library of Congress's Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).

1966
1966 view from the Northwest - 7th Ave / 40th Street (HABS photo)
10/03/2006 17:26:30
2006 photo from the Northwest - 7th Ave / 40th Street
10/03/2006 17:27:23
7th Avenue entrance
10/03/2006 17:29:10
Old Metropolitan Opera House
10/03/2006 17:28:05
Tower