THE WICKET CITY HAS AN OPERA HOUSE AGAIN!
Sometimes I have a tendency to procrastinate. I plan on doing something, but something else comes up and I never get around to doing what I planned. Case in point is the old Kiel Opera House. Not the one in Kiel, Germany that was destroyed during WWII … but the one in downtown Saint Louis where my high school graduation was held umpteen years ago. After my graduation it began a slow descent into deterioration until it was finally shuttered around 1990.
The Saint Louis Auditorium And Community Center was a beautiful limestone Beaux Arts building with Art Deco ornamentation that was completed in 1934 and named for a former mayor of the city.
It contained two separate but connected at the stage area auditoriums … an opulent opera house and a multi-purpose convention/sport event auditorium plus numerous meeting rooms and assembly areas. The stage area was divided by huge liftable firewall.
The people who built the hockey area were supposed to renovate the Opera House half of the structure, but nothing happen … for 20-years. Finally after ownership of the hockey team changed hands several times the sports partnership that owned the hockey team and the building decided to renovate the forgotten half of the building. And last fall it opened to the public … with a new name naturally. It is now the Peabody Opera House.
And it was restored with love and care, and also with all the amenities the modern world has to offer. Even the two sculptures of Missouri bears that guarded the grand stairway in front of the building for well over 80-years were clean up for the grand reopening of a grand old building.
So far the Opera House has been filled with rock concerts, ballet companies, Broadway musicals and even Oprah! Hopefully, a real Grand Opera will be added to the marquee soon.