1564 Broadway New York, NY
scroll down to view more
Architectural Historian, Columbia University
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
Jimmy Nederlander Sr.
Chairman, Nederlander Organization
The most legendary theater on Broadway, the Palace is also one of the oldest, built in 1913.
Kirchhoff & Rose designed the theater expressly for the presentation of vaudeville —variety shows with comedy, magic, music, and dance—and every vaudevillian aspired to “play the Palace.” The deep lobby and enormous theater with its two balconies accommodated large audiences while private boxes, favorite features of vaudeville audiences, added to the theater’s allure. Once the most popular form of entertainment in the United States, vaudeville died out in the early 1930s and the revered Palace struggled to survive. In 1965, the Nederlander Organization bought it and hired Ralph Alswang, a Broadway scenic designer who had been begun designing theater interiors in the mid-1960s, to restore the Palace to its original grandeur. It reopened as a legitimate theater in 1966 with Neil Simons’s Sweet Charity. Many successful productions, including Applause, La Cage aux Follies, Woman of the Year, Beauty and the Beast, and Aida, have followed.
Milwaukee County Historical Society
Charles Kirchhoff was the son of a German immigrant cabinetmaker in Milwaukee.
He attended a German-English academy for his initial education and then attended night school while working as a carpenter and mason. He later spent two years studying architecture in Boston and New York. Upon his return to Milwaukee, Kirchhoff worked for Henry Messmer. In 1885 he started his own practice, and in 1896 he formed a partnership with Thomas Leslie Rose; their firm, Kirchhoff & Rose, is Milwaukee's oldest continuously operated architectural office. The RKO Palace Orpheum Hippodrome, the Marquette University Dental School, and the Garden Theater in Milwaukee are some of their best-known projects.
Son of sculptor-artist James M. Rose, Thomas Leslie Rose was born in New York City and moved to Chicago as a child. He apprenticed with Chicago architect James J. Egan and attended evening classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, now the Art Institute of Chicago.
Rose relocated to Milwaukee in 1883, where he practiced with Henry Starbuck. After Starbuck's retirement, Rose began a partnership with Charles Kirchhoff in 1896. The resulting firm, Kirchhoff & Rose, is Milwaukee's oldest continuously operated architectural office. The firm specialized in theater, commercial, and industrial design. Some of their best-known works include the RKO Palace Orpheum Hippodrome, the Palm Garden Schlitz Hotel, and the Milwaukee County Historical Center.
Museum of The City of New York
Friedman-Abeles © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
back to top