The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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Des Moines


(Moore's) Opera House

Wednesday, April 26, 1882

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper report

The Centerville Times, May 2, 1882

Newspaper article

The Iowa State Register, April 27, 1882


visited this aesthetic city yesterday, and lectured last evening at the Opera House."


No newspaper clipping available yet. Reference to the primary source comes The Palimpsest, Volume XVIII, No. 6: June, 1937, published by State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, 1937 (Briggs, John Ely, editor).


(Moore's) Opera House

Walnut and Fourth Streets, Des Moines, IA

Built as: "Moore's Hall," a three-story brick building, the first exclusive amusement hall in the city (W.W. "Billy" Moore) 

Enlarged: 1873

Dedicated: February 5, 1874

Seating capacity: 1400

Ceased operating: probably later in the 1880s when other opera houses were built, and it became a museum and vaudeville show known as "Wonderland." Structure extant at least until 1904


Aborn House

Court Avenue, at Fourth Street, Des Moines, IA

Built: 1871-73

Opened: c. May 10, 1873

Destroyed (fire): September 21-22, 1994

"An 'aesthetic' newspaper representative visited the British (sic) peculiarity at his rooms in the Aborn House"

The Iowa State Register, April 27, 1882

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024