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Well, after a little more research… Though the Auditorium was projected to be finished in March 1903 (NY Times article, 9/19/1902), another article in “Architects and Builders Magazine” states that it was “nearing completion” in Jan. 1904. Another NY Times article (3/9/1905) reported that one of the partners who built the Auditorium was declaring bankruptcy, this after a 6-month strike halted work, and his partner’s subsequent suicide in May 1904; the article goes on to say that “there were no funds to continue the enterprise.” A further NY Times article (5/14/1905) announced the opening the next night (“for a Spring season”) of the Harlem Alhambra, noting that “it was started two years ago, but was not completed owing to a series of litigations whereby the work was held up for a long period.” Descriptions of the two theater include similar decorations, the presence of a rathskeller and other accommodations; so it would seems that the two are identical.
Intrigued by this question I dug through old binders and found a printout of the “Atlas of the City of New York”, 1906 edition, showing the location of the “Alhambra” at the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and 126th Street, which was the location of the Auditorium noted in the NY Times article. It was right next to the Harlem Opera House, which was also a McElfatrick design from 1889. I’ll keep checking to see if there is anything in print about the one becoming the other.
Is the Alhambra the same as the Harlem Auditorium? I have a drawing of the Auditorium by the McElfatricks that looks very much like the photo of the Alhambra posted by KenRoe.
estott,-Can you tell me where I could find the pictures you mention of the original 1914 interior? Much obliged!!
Warren, – Can you tell me the source of the 3 pics of the Bronx Theatre?