Sterling Opera House

Uploaded 29 Dec 2018 — 3 favorites
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© Tom Piorkowski
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Sterling Opera House
Derby, CT

On April 2, 1889 the doors of the Sterling Opera House were opened to the public. It was designed by Italianate Victorian style architect H. Edwards Ficken, who also was co-designer of the famous Carnegie Hall located in Manhattan, NY. It was built to serve both political and entertainment needs.

The lower two levels and the basement were actually the town's City Hall and police station from when it opened up until 1965.

The auditorium was used for hundreds of shows and live musical performances in its day. In fact, many world famous performers such as Harry Houdini and Red Skelton took the stage at Sterling. Shows were held up until 1945 when the curtain closed for the last time.

The Sterling Opera House was also later recognized as a historic place with historic value when it became the first building in CT to be added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 8, 1968.

2 responses

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (29 Dec 2018):

    What a fascinating history of the Sterling Opera House ...One can feel the spirits of the past in the quiet beautiful ambience of the interior so well captured!

  • Patrick Westerfield

    Patrick Westerfield gave props (29 Dec 2018):

    Great photo; I love the narrative you wrote that puts it into context.

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