The Old French Opera House

On Dec. 4 1919 the French Opera House, which a month before had opened its first session since the end of World War I, was razed by a fire of undetermined origin. Designed by architect James Gallier, the Greek Revival-style structure on the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon streets opened in 1850 in a city that had been one of the earliest homes of grand opera in North America. After the fire, opera in the city was largely relegated to performances by touring companies until the founding of the New Orleans Opera House Association in 1943.