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American Academy of Music

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1855–1857, Napoleon LeBrun and Gustav Runge; 1990s restoration, Hyman Myers of the Vitetta Group. 240 S. Broad St.
  • American Academy of Music
  • American Academy of Music
  • American Academy of Music
  • American Academy of Music
  • American Academy of Music
  • American Academy of Music

Napoleon LeBrun was the last in the line of classicists who led from Benjamin Henry Latrobe to William Strickland, and then to LeBrun's master, Thomas Ustick Walter. LeBrun's brief partnership with Gustav Runge, a German who had trained at the prestigious architectural schools of Berlin and Karlsruhe, accounts for the rather Germanic exterior, an economical and nearly industrial Rundbogenstil essay. The architects originally proposed a Venetian Renaissance design, sheathed in marble, but funds were not forthcoming. With the completion of the Kimmel Center ( PH59), the academy now returns to its original purpose as the city's venue for opera and ballet, bringing the orchestra into the pit below the stage as in the hall's model, Milan's Teatro della Scala. The gold-detailed cast plaster and Néo-Grec-inspired ceiling murals add the expected glitter to performances that speak of the beginnings of the Gilded Age. Renovated in the 1960s by Martin, Stewart, Noble and Class, and Associates, and more accurately restored by Hyman Myers in the 1990s, it anchors Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "American Academy of Music", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-PH58.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 89-90.

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