RECREATING THE THEATER

We have selected the Union Square Theatre, circa 1895-1897, as the venue for Virtual Vaudeville. This 1,200-seat theatre was one of the
largest and most influential vaudeville venues in the country. For a complete description of the research conducted by our historians in
preparation for our reconstruction of the theater, click here.

 

Etching of Union Square Theatre (1888)
This etching shows the Union Square Theatre in 1888, after it was rebuilt following a fire, but before a major renovation in 1893. We have been unable to locate any images of the theatre after the renovation.

 

3D UST Model Vantage Similar to Etching
Our simulation is set in 1895-97, after a major renovation of the UST. Since we have been unable to locate an image of the theatre during this period, we have relied on descriptions of the renovated theatre and our own informed guesses to create the 3D model.

 

Panels over Proscenium
The UST theatre featured ornamental panels over the proscenium in the style of Louis Sullivan. Since we do not have detailed images of these panels, we went to the source and pattened the panels after those on one of Sullivan's most famous buildings, the Wainwright Building in St. Louis.

 

View from Upper Gallery
The Union Square Theatre had two balconies, or galleries. This view is from the back section of the second balcony, the only area where African American spectators were allowed to sit.

 

View from Lower Gallery

 

View from Parquet Circle
This view is from the area of the area under the first balcony.

 

View from House Left
This is a view of the stage and boxes from toward the front of the parquet level.

 

Box Detail
This is a detail of the upper boxes. The ornamental pattern over the boxes is taken from the 1896 Southern Theatre in Columbus, Ohio as recently restored by CAPA.

 

View of House from Stage