Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chickering Hall

Chickering Hall, Huntington avenue, dome of the Christian Science mother church in the background.

Chickering Hall - 1908.

Chickering was a leading name in American piano manufacturing for much of the 19th Century. Jonas Chickering founded the first company under that name in 1823. The company evolved through partnerships and different names until it became Chickering and Sons in 1853. The Washington street factory burned in 1852, and the company moved to Tremont street in the South End, where the building still stands. Chickering was just one among many piano and organ manufacturers in 18th Century Boston, making the city a national leader in the field.

Chickering financed concert halls to show off their instruments, with one built in New York before the erection of another in Boston. Chickering Hall was built on Huntington avenue in 1901, beside Horticultural Hall and around the corner from Symphony Hall. However, the hall didn't retain the Chickering name for long, as the map below shows.

St James Theater - 1917.

The Chickering had become the St James by 1917 (above), which combined Vaudeville and film, and was renamed the Uptown by 1938, and remained a movie theater (below). The theater survived until 1968, when it was demolished for the expansion of the Christian Science campus.

Uptown Theater - 1938.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, Mark B. (I am writing because I couldn't seem to find a way to contact you, other than commenting. Sorry!) I am wondering if you wouldn't mind my using one of the images on this post (specifically the last one, "Uptown Theater - 1938") because I would like a piece of an old map of Boston for my "Contact the Couple" page on my wedding website, and the colors in your image are perfect. Sorry if this is wholly inappropriate as a comment, but I would rather be upfront about your copyrighted images (if copyright). Thanks.