The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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Grand Opera House

Thursday, May 4, 1882

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper reports

Harrisburg Daily Independent, May 5, 1882, 4

The Harrisburg Report Patriot, May 5, 1882, 5

Harrisburg Telegraph, May 4, 1882, 4


Grand Opera House

SE corner of N. Third and Walnut Streets, Harrisburg, PA

Opened: October 13, 1873 (Masonic Fraternity; Architect: Frank E. Davis)

Seating capacity: 1324

Destroyed (fire): February 1, 1907

Replaced by: Penn-Harris Hotel (b. 1910, demolished 1923) 


Lochiel Hotel

Corner of Market and 3rd Streets, Harrisburg, PA (now 225 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101)

Built: 1835-36 as the Greek Revival Wilson Hotel

Adapted: 1870s mansard roof and facade details

Repurposed: 1912 as a vaudeville theater and later a movie house

Restored: 2008, building extant

Wilde took rooms at a hotel to change and rest, something  he often did even if not staying overnight, as was the case in Harrisburg. After the lecture Wilde returned to his rooms and gave an interview to the Harrisburg Telegraph before catching the 11:30 PM train to New York. (See story below under Ephemera).

Opposite are views of the extant structure at various stages in its existence.

The present day building has been sensitively restored since its days as a rundown movie theatre. The pediments over the windows, the first floor “balcony” railing, and the main ground floor windows all match the original building.


Lochiel Hotel and Colonial Theater (

* Not to be confused with the restaurant styled as The 901 Lounge at Lochiel Hotel, Shanois St, Harrisburg, PA 17104.


Trouble at the Station

Wilde finds himself at the center of an international incident.

Harrisburg Telegraph, May 5, 1882, 1.

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024