The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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Crawford's Opera House

Thursday, April 20, 1882

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper report

The Topeka Daily Capital,  April 21, 1882, 8

Newspaper advertisement

The Daily Commonwealth (Topeka, KS) April 16, 1882, 3


Crawford's Opera House

612—614 Kansas Avenue (SE corner of Sixth Street), Topeka, KS

Built: 1881 (Lester M. Crawford)

Opened: September 5, 1881

Seating capacity: c. 1,000

On this site Lorenzo Costa purchased an 1861 building and opened the first play house in Topeka in 1870. L. M. Crawford bought the property in 1880, made extensive alterations operating as Crawford's Opera House. This structure was destroyed by fire on December 2, 1880, and replaced the following summer by a new building where Wilde lectured.

This opera house is not to be confused with the Grand Opera House on lots 193, 195, and 197 Jackson Street, which opened in September 1882, several months after Wilde lectured in Topeka. 


Windsor Hotel

Built: 1860 (as Tefft House)

Opened as Windsor Hotel: February 1, 1882

Closed: 1889 when bought by the First National Bank of Topeka who incorporated their business into a hotel under the name of the National Hotel.


The Daily Commonwealth (Topeka, KS), April 22, 1882

The Atchison Daily Globe (Atchison, KS), April 21, 1882, 1

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024