Music Hall, photo submitted 1976
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Wilson Theatre
350 Madison Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Other Names Music Hall
Property Type theatre
Style Art Deco
Architect/Builder Corrado Parducci
Smith, Hinchman and Grylls
William Kapp
Significant Person Corrado Parducci
Narrative Description The Wilson Theater (Music Hall) is a rectangular, six-story, Art Deco theater with walls of light colored stone. Orange and tan brick is used as ornament and the building is trimmed with colorful mosaic tile. The entrance facade is divided into several bays by wide stone pillars topped by theatrical terra cotta mask figures, and thin pillars separating window bays. The stunning interior, decorated in an elaborate Spanish Renaissance style, seats approximately 1800 guests.
Statement of Significance The Music Hall is an outstanding example of careful restoration and one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Detroit. Mathilda Dodge Wilson commissioned William Kapp of the Detroit firm of Smith, Hinchman, & Grylls to design the theater, completed in 1928 at a cost of $1.5 million. The building was constructed as a legitimate theater and originally housed touring Broadway productions in the city's main theater district. In 1946 the name of the building was changed from the Wilson Theater to the Music Hall when the theater became the home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The building was changed into a Cinerama in 1951 and has recently been beautifully restored.
Marker Name Music Hall
Marker Text MUSIC HALL Originally called the Wilson Theatre, this building was completed in 1928 with funds provided by Matilda Wilson (Mrs. Alfred G.). William E. Kapp of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls, an architectural firm whose works dominated the city's skyline of the 1920s, designed this Art Deco-style edifice. Terra cotta Greek masks adorn the exterior, and elaborate molded plaster and stenciling complement the interior. The theater's purpose of offering legitimate productions was initially fulfilled, but during the Depression its lights dimmed except for sporadic occasions. From 1946 to 1949, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra occupied the structure which was renamed Music Hall. Area residents came here in the 1950s and 1960s to see Cinerama and other films. Now the home of the Music Hall Center and the Michigan Opera Theatre, Music Hall is restored to its original use and appearance.
Period of Significance 1928-present
Significant Date(s) 1951
Registry Type(s) 09/12/1978 Marker erected
08/09/1977 National Register listed
08/06/1976 State Register listed
Site ID# P25287