Pike's Opera House (Cincinnati)
Pike's Opera House was a theater in Cincinnati owned by distiller and entrepreneur Samuel Napthali Pike (1822–1872). Located on Fourth Street between Vine and Walnut streets, it was the first home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Pike's Opera House was designed by New York–based architects Horatio Nelson White and John M. Trimble and constructed from 1857 to 1859 at a cost of $500,000. It opened on February 22, 1859. Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. was performing at Pike's for Edward, Prince of Wales, when he was arrested after being informed that his brother, John Wilkes Booth, had assassinated Abraham Lincoln. On March 22, 1866, a gas leak caused the theater to explode, taking with it the original offices of The Cincinnati Enquirer, along with archives of the Enquirer's first 25 years. No one was killed.
Isaiah Rogers rebuilt the theater after the fire. It reopened on February 12, 1868, the same year that Pike opened another opera house in Manhattan, now known as the Grand Opera House. In 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra gave its first concerts at the original Pike's Opera House before moving to Music Hall the following year. Pike's burned down again on February 26, 1903. The ruins remained for two years before the lot was cleared to make way for the Sinton Hotel.
Notes and references
- Pike was a German Jew, born in 1822 in Schwetzingen/Baden, Germany. His birth name was "Samuel N. Hecht"; his family changed the name in 1827 in the USA to "Pike". See: Rehs, Michael. Wurzeln in fremder Erde: Zur Geschichte der südwestdeutschen Auswanderung nach Amerika (Stuttgart: DRW-Verlag, 1984) ISBN 3-87181-231-5.
- Suess, Jeff (July 15, 2015). "Tragedy of Pike's Opera House recounted in new book". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Horn, Dan; Suess, Jeff (April 10, 2016). "First Enquirer reveals much about Cincinnati". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved September 26, 2016.