Oscar Wilde In America

DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America



Grand Opera House

Sunday, March 5, 1882

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper report

The Milwaukee Sentinel, Mar 6, 1882, 5


(Nunnemacher) Grand Opera House

Water and Oneida (now 144 E. Wells) Streets, Milwaukee, WI

Built: 1870-71 (Henry C. Koch, Architect, for Jacob Nunnemacher)

Opened: August 17, 1871

Seating: 1,000 (originally)

Renamed: 1890 (Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theatre—The New German Stadt Theater)

Destroyed (fire): January 15, 1895 [1]

Replaced: 1895 (The Pabst Theatre, Otto Strack, Architect; building extant)

[1] The University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries web site erroneously gives the date of the fire as 1893

Grand Opera House and City Hall (right), Milwaukee, WI

Source: Milwaukee Public Library


Plankinton House Hotel

West Water and Second (now Plankinton) Streets, Milwaukee, WI [1]

Built: 1867

Opened: 1868

Extended: 1876-1880

Last additions: 1882

Fire: 1883, survived

Demolished: 1915

Replaced: 1916 by Plankinton Arcade (Holabird & Roche), a two-story commercial building

Extended: 1924 to seven floors (Holabird & Roche) extant as part of the The Shops of Grand Avenue, and retaining the statue of John Plankinton in the center of the circular atrium

[1] Later address was 123 Grand Ave., now 161 W Wisconsin Ave. 

Source Note

Milwaukee.com, October 17, 2004 | Wilde didn't impress Milwaukee much | by Bobby Tanzilo

"In fact, the Milwaukee Sentinel, in an interview with Wilde that was conducted the morning of his appearance (he had arrived at 11:30 p.m. the night before and checked into the Plankinton House hotel...) couldn't help but poke some fun."

Irish Milwaukee, Martin Hintz, 2003, p. 104

"he stayed at the old Plankinton House..."

While these are not primary sources in themselves, they are the corroborative reporting of a primary source, and there is no reason to doubt them.

The Plankinton House Hotel extended, as it looked at the time of Wilde's stay in Milwaukee.

The original Plankinton House Hotel in Milwaukee.

Recommended reading:

Ebook cover Oscar Wilde On Dress  by John Cooper
Oscar Wilde On Dress hardback cover by John Cooper
Ebook cover Oscar Wilde On Dress  by John Cooper
Ebook cover Oscar Wilde On Dress  by John Cooper
Ebook cover Oscar Wilde On Dress  by John Cooper

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