You are here

American Academy of Music

-A A +A
1855–1857, Napoleon LeBrun and Gustav Runge; 1990s restoration, Hyman Myers of the Vitetta Group. 240 S. Broad St.
  • American Academy of Music (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • American Academy of Music (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • American Academy of Music (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • American Academy of Music (Richard Guy Wilson)
  • American Academy of Music (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • American Academy of Music (Richard W. Longstreth)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

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

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "American Academy of Music", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.