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Porter County Memorial Hall
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Porter County Memorial Hall in 2004
[[image:Template:Location map Indiana|235px|Porter County Memorial Opera Hall is located in Template:Location map Indiana]]
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Location: 104 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso, Indiana
Coordinates: 41°28′0″N 87°3′33″W / 41.466667°N 87.05917°W / 41.466667; -87.05917Coordinates: 41°28′0″N 87°3′33″W / 41.466667°N 87.05917°W / 41.466667; -87.05917
Area: 0.9 acres (0.36 ha)
Built/Founded: 1893
Architect: Lembke, Charles F.
Architectural style(s): Queen Anne
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: May 23, 1984
NRHP Reference#: 84001231[1]
File:GrandArmyOfTheRepublic-MemorialOperaHouse-1898.jpg

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The Porter County Memorial Hall, also known as Memorial Opera House, is an historic Grand Army of the Republic memorial hall located in Valparaiso, Indiana. It was the meeting place of Chaplain Brown GAR Post No. 106, one of 592 GAR posts in Indiana.[2] Designed in 1892 by a local architect, Charles F. Lembke. [3], using Romanesque styling, it was built in 1892-3 to seat 100 people. It was also used as the local opera house.

Local legend says that Wm Jennings Bryan spoke at the hall during the 1896 presidential campaign. Others who have been to the hall include Theodore Roosevelt, John Phillips Sousa, Marx Brothers. [4] Decline began with the advent of the movies, for which it was converted. By the time of WWII it was an abandoned building. Beginning in 1955, the Community Theatre Guild leased the property and began maintaining it once again for theater productions. [3] The City restored the hall in the 1990’s and leased it to the Memorial Opera House Company, where theater productions continue.

The Memorial Opera House is located at 104 Indiana Avenue just east of the historic Porter County Jail and Sheriff's House. At the time of construction, Indiana Avenue was called Mechanics Street.[5] The Opera House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It was restored in 1998.Today, the Memorial Theatre Company produces six theatrical performances each year and host community concerts and other events.[5]

References[]

  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  2. Library of Congress list of GAR posts in Indiana
  3. 3.0 3.1 Neeley, George E.; City of Valparaiso, A Pictorial History; G. Bradley Publishing, Inc.; St. Louis, Missouri; 1989; pg 46. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Neeley" defined multiple times with different content
  4. Porter County Interim Report, Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory; Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana; July 1991; pg 46
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mullins, Lanette; Images of America; Valparaiso – Looking Back, Moving Forward; Arcadia Publishing; Chicago, Illinois; 2002; pg 16 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Mullins" defined multiple times with different content

Sources[]

  • Mullins, Lanette; Images of America; Valparaiso – Looking Back, Moving Forward; Arcadia Publishing; Chicago, Illinois; 2002
  • Neeley, George E.; City of Valparaiso, A Pictorial History; G. Bradley Publishing, Inc.; St. Louis, Missouri; 1989; pg.
  • Porter County Interim Report, Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory; Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana; July 1991

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