Academy of Music

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NYPL ID number: 809597




Picture Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
In the early 1850s, a group of New York merchants decided to build an new opera hall to replace the old Astor House. Opened in 1854, it was the largest opera hall in the world containing 4,000 seats. Rather than promote exclusiveness, its creators offered inexpensive seating to attract a large general audience. In this, they were so successful that prostitutes flocked to perfomances.



“Academy of Music,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,