On this day in 1919, New Orleanians awoke to the news that the French Opera House had burned to the ground.
On December 4, 1919, The French Opera House was destroyed in a fire. Which appeared to have started across the street in what was known as Sylvester’s Restaurant. This turned the beloved Opera House into vast rubble and dust while the viscous smoke filled the air…there was nothing to build back up.
The Frecnh Opera House was built in 1859 by Gallier and Esterbrook who were architects. It has held many accomplishments that has given it such a great reputation. New Orleans was the first American city to support an opera company and was also rated “America’s Musical Capital” because of the prominent presence of opera.
In the 1800s the French Opera House was once a cultural center and a theatre. It was also used during Mardi Gras as a meeting place for revelers before parades along with housing Mardi Gras balls.
“The fabulous French Opera House dominated a vastly different Bourbon Street than the gaudy strip of today. Designed by James Gallier and erected in 1859, the Opera House became the cultural centerpiece of New Orleans both for hosting musical performances and later for its role in the annual carnival celebration.” –
- “Third Time In Burning Of Opera House.”