Lynchburg’s Academy of Music was built as a vaudeville theater and opera house, one of the few surviving in Virginia. Completed in 1905, it was designed by the local firm of Frye and Chesterman, which embellished Lynchburg with many of its best buildings. The theater burned in 1911, but was rebuilt within its walls under the direction of architect C. K. Howell, with Lynchburg’s J. M. B. Lewis as associate. The present façade is a sophisticated essay in the neoclassical style recalling 18th-century English Palladianism. The elegant interior is enriched with plasterwork decorations and a colorful painted ceiling of clouds, muses, and cherubs. In its heyday the Academy of Music boasted Sarah Bernhardt, Pavlova, and Paderewski among its performers. Vacant for some six decades, the theater was restored and re-opened in December 2018, returning to its place in the rich cultural life of the city.
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VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark