Building Dedication 1897

The Opera House is located in the Claremont City Hall Building. Dedication of the building occurred on June 22, 1897. The cost was $62,000. The style of the building is Italian Renaissance Revival. The architect was Charles A. Rich. Rich was a native of Beverly, Massachusetts, and graduated from Dartmouth College. Hira Beckwith, an architect in Claremont, was the contractor. Many of the construction materials for the edifice came from the New England area. The foundation was built of Green Mountain Rock and the base was dressed Connecticut River Brownstone from Springfield, Massachusetts. On the major part of the exterior are nearly one million Lebanon bricks.

On the ground floor is an entrance lobby which originally led to an assembly hall which seated 700 and was used for town meetings and balls. In 1960 the first floor was remodeled, turning the former hall into offices and a City Council chamber. Above the city offices is the Opera House. It has a frescoed ceiling and a decorative wall frieze culminating with a proscenium arch adorned with a combination of basswood, painted cream, and a gold leafed molded plaster-work in high relief. Above the proscenium arch there is a circular multicolored fresco of the New Hampshire state seal. The auditorium has a total capacity of 788.


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