Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Orleans 1885: Music Hall.....

Designed as a great auditorium, Music Hall was located at the center of the 1885 exposition's Main Building. Entered through a massive wooden archway, hung with a large French flag, with red, white, and blue streamers, the arch-roofed hall covered an area 164-feet wide by 350-feet deep, and contained seating for 11,000 spectators. The large performance stage, located at the hall's west end, could accommodate 600 musicians and was also the location of the immense Pilcher pipe-organ, installed by the Pilcher Organ Co. A second-floor gallery, decorated with flags and bunting, surrounded the hall on three sides, providing additional standing-room for spectators. In total, Music Hall could accommodate 13,000 people for various events. A large central skylight, running the length of the hall, provided natural light during the day. By night, the auditorium was illuminated by a line of large chandeliers, containing clusters of Edison incandescent electric lights. Additionally, two long rows of crescent-shaped electric lighting fixtures were located on either side of the central row of chandeliers. Numerous musical performances were staged in Music Hall during the course of the exposition, as well as conferences, lectures, special events, and celebrations on the many State and National days.

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