Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BAM's Peter Jay Sharp Building: Goo Goo!

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which opened in 1861 in Brooklyn Heights, is America’s oldest performing arts center. In 1903, as it seems befell every damn building in that era, fire decimated it. The new Academy of Music opened in 1908 on Lafayette Avenue in the Fort Greene nabe.

The Peter Jay Sharp Building was designed in the Italian-Renaissance-inspired Beaux Arts style by Herts & Tallant, the premier theater architects of the period. The main entrance on Lafayette showcases five double doors embellished with cherub figures—which caught my fancy as I walked by last week. The BAM Historic District was designated by the NYC Landmarks Preservation in 1978.Above, one of five entrances adorned with terra cotta cherubs around the edge. Below, details.Inside BAM: Left, the Harvey Theater and right, Howard Gilman Opera House.