The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

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New York


Parepa Hall

Monday, November 27, 1882

The Decorative Arts

Final lecture

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Newspaper reports

The Sun (New York), November 28, 1882, 1

The New York Herald, November 28, 1882, 5

The New York Daily Tribune, November 28, 1882, 5

Yorkville is a neighborhood on the upper east side of New York City. Its boundaries are: the East River on the east, 96th Street (where East Harlem begins) on the north, Third Avenue on the west and 72nd Street to the south. For much of the 19th century Yorkville was a middle- to working-class neighborhood, inhabited by people of Czech, German, Hungarian, Irish, Jewish, Lebanese, Polish, and Slovak descent.


New York Daily Graphic, November 27, 1882

The Young Men's Christian Association

Wilde’s lecture at was given for the YMCA.

The YMCA was founded in London in 1844 with the aim of instilling the principles of a healthy "body, mind and spirit". The Association founder, George Williams, was a draper typical of the young men who were drawn to the cities by the Industrial Revolution. By 1851, there were YMCAs in the Canada, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and France. The YMCA of Greater New York was founded in 1852 and the Yorkville YMCA was a branch of it which in 1882 met at Parepa Hall.

The reported full title of the lecture was: 'The Practical Application of the Principles of Home Decoration With Observations on Personal Dress and Ornaments'.  This designation is similar to the full title of Wilde’s talk for the YMCA in Philadelphia on May 10. 


Parepa Hall

NE corner of 86th Street and  Third Avenue (now 201 E. 86th Street, New York, NY)

Built: c. 1869 (as a public hall)

Seating: 1000
Building use: multi-purpose occupancy  over many years including a library, masonic lodge, concert hall, police station, political meeting rooms, and, in 1937, a bakery 

Demolished: 1986  

Replaced by: a 35-story apartment building, the Colorado (extant).


At the time of the lecture Wilde was living in New York City at 48 West 11th Street (building extant).

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024