THE LOCATION OF CHICKERING HALL

130 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Oscar Wilde’s first lecture on his 1882 lecture tour of North America was held at Chickering Hall [1], a concert auditorium in New York City. 

 

As can be seen from the 1895 street plan opposite, Chickering Hall was situated at 130 Fifth Avenue, which is the lot at the north-west corner of Fifth Avenue and 18th Street—indeed, this is the location of the same address today.

 

The hall measured 75 feet on Fifth Avenue and 135 feet along Eighteenth Street [2].

 

Marked on the plan is my manuscript notation indicating the line of arriving  carriages that contemporary reports said stretched around the corner for the sold-out event.

 

Situated behind the hall at 7 West 18th Street was the former Christ Church—at the time adopted by St Ann's (1859—1898).

 

Related:

Oscar Wilde's lecture at Chickering Hall

St. Ann's Church for the Deaf-Mutes

 

THE LOCATION OF CHICKERING HALL 130 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

[1] George B. Post, 1875.

[2] New York 1880 - Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age, ROBERT A. M. STERN, THOMAS MELLINS and DAVID FISHMAN, The Monacelli Press, 1999.

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Author note: the original reason to be precise about the location of Chickering Hall was to counter an assertion by the New York Public Library that the hall stood on the NE corner. As a result of this research the NYPL has corrected its page here.

St. Ann's Church

Chickering Hall interiors (New York Public Library)

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Oscar Wilde In America |  © John Cooper, 2018