The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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City Hall*

Monday, April 24, 1882 (Evening)

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper listing

New York Dramatic Mirror, April, 1882

Letter (Oscar Wilde)

To Helena Sickert

April 25, 1882, Fremont, NE

Last night I lectured at Lincoln, Nebraska, and in the morning gave an address to the undergraduates of the State University there...[1]

(Letters, p. 165)

[1] Address to students at University Hall

O Street, Lincoln, Nebraska between 9th and 10th Streets c. 1878, with paving and sidewalk under construction.

Wilde's lecture venue is the pale colored buildng, center, with the words CITY HALL on the ornament of the north facing cornice.

The two-story high second floor was a concert hall.

Picture credit: Ed Zimmer, Historic Preservation Planner, Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Dept.


City Hall

905-941 O Street, Lincoln, NE (now 921 O Street)

Built: c. 1878 (Frederick Schmidt)Premises: Various commercial and theater use

Destroyed (fire): December 12, 2010, when occupied by Romantix, an adult novelty store. Cause undetermined. Subsequently demolished.


Not That City Hall

Lincoln and the Adult Novelty Store

Not "City Hall"

Following recent demolition work in Lincoln, it is now possible to identify (for the first time here) Wilde's lecture venue in Lincoln, which for over a century had been unknown or misinterpreted.

One source of confusion is that the theater where Wilde lectured was known as "City Hall"—with the name used in the sense of a music or concert hall, (e.g. as in Carnegie Hall). The lecture did not take place at a city hall in the usual sense of a municipal building.

For more on the verification of the venue see the feature Not That City Hall.


The Arlington

221-243 N. Ninth Street (south-west corner of Ninth and Q Streets), Lincoln, NE

Built: 1880 (J. S. Atwood, builder)

Premises: the largest hotel in Nebraska at the time of its construction; capacity: c. 250 guests

Later known as: Opelt (or Opelt's) Hotel (Joseph Opelt, landlord), 1886

Newspaper report

The Omaha Daily Bee, April 26, 1882, 1

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024