Southeast corner of Broad and Locust Streets
|Holy fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Willis G. Hale ain't nuthin' to fuck with!|
The Empire Theatre is an obscure-ass building to know anything about. Even the Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project has nothing on it. In the late 1800's, there was a brief period of time when the area surrounding Broad and Locust Streets was one of the richest, cleanest, and most valuable parts of this city. The 1300 and 1400 blocks of Locust were off the fucking chain. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (still there), Episcopal Academy (moved), Library Company of Philadelphia (moved and moved back), College of Physicians (moved), the Rugby Academy (still standing but different), and the Academy of Music were all in the same row.
In the early 1890's, it seemed logical that Broad Street could use some more theaters to take advantage of the situation. Info is spotty about how it all began but some sources imply that William M. Singerly, press tycoon and Willis G. Hale fan, had something to do with it. That makes sense. He owned the previous incarnation of the Empire Theatre that burned down in 1886 and Singerly and Hale worked together often. Hale had even designed his office. Like this:
|Singerly's office implied that he was also not something with which to fuck.|
|This map of the ventilation system should be enough info to re-build it!|
What a building! If thing managed to survive into the 21st Century, people wouldn't even know that the Academy of Music exists. Good job, Willis. Good job.
|The Empire sometime before 1896.|