“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Grand Opera House

Grand Opera House Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. Grand Opera House Marker
Inscription. On the southeast corner of N. Third and Walnut Streets stood the Grand Opera House, erected in 1873 at a cost of $160,000, by the Masonic Fraternity and designed by architect Frank E. Davis. Serving also as the Harrisburg Masonic Temple, lodge rooms were located on the upper floors and a theater, which was separately leased for cultural events, was situated below. Here Harrisburg's cultural life was taken to new heights as a place where nationally renowned theatrical and musical productions could be staged. Also held were social events, graduation exercises and political meetings as the Grand Opera House was one of Harrisburg's principal places of public assembly. The building and many surrounding structures were totally destroyed by a catastrophic fire on February 1, 1907, ten years to the month after the old State Capitol Building was similarly destroyed. The Masonic Temple was later rebuilt at Third and State Streets (now the Barto Building) and ultimately in uptown Harrisburg as the Zembo Mosque. The internationally known Penn Harris Hotel later stood at this site from 1918 to 1973.
Top Photo
Circa 1900 view showing the Grand Opera House's robust architectural features and Italianate design.
Bottom Photo
Pre-construction rendering made by architect Frank E. Davis

Erected by
Location now occupied by Strawberry Square image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Location now occupied by Strawberry Square
The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
Location. 40° 15.701′ N, 76° 52.935′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is at the intersection of Third Street and Walnut Street, on the left when traveling north on Third Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Strawberry Square Phase I (here, next to this marker); Federal Square (a few steps from this marker); Capitol Park (a few steps from this marker); John Harris' Gift (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Dauphin County Prison (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Dauphin County Courthouses (about 300 feet away); Mexican War Monument (about 400 feet away); 104th Cavalry (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harrisburg.
Categories. EntertainmentNotable BuildingsNotable Events
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,624 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 29, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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