Concordia Opera House (30)379 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland
Constructed in 1864-65, burned in 1891
In 1864-65, Adolf Cluss and Josef Wildrich von Kammerhueber designed the Concordia German Society's opera house, the only known Cluss building in Baltimore. The Concordia Society was founded in 1864 for "moral, scientific, literary, dramatic, agricultural, and charitable purposes."
Located on South Eutaw Street near the intersection with Redwood Street, then "German" Street, the building was Baltimore's main performing arts venue in the 1860s and 70s for famous performers and lecturers, including Charles Dickens in 1868. When the 1600-seat theater opened in September 1865, the orchestra performed the Concordia March, written especially for the new theater.
Many Jewish immigrants joined the Concordia Society and attended the weekly concerts. It also became headquarters for many local German and Jewish social and cultural events. In The Jews of Baltimore (1910), Isidor Blum recalled that "the Concordia was the greatest social institution that the Jews of Baltimore have ever had."
The Concordia was built of iron and brick with an ornamental facade and cost $20,000. The theater included "a large and well-equipped stage. The upper floors contained clubrooms." The theater also included many features that people began to associate with Cluss buildings: "The Concordia is well-ventilated, has the most perfect heating arrangements and all precautionary water fixtures." Particular care, the Baltimore Sun reported, "has been taken to have the Hall constructed upon the most scientific principles of acoustics."
A fire destroyed the Concordia in 1891. Situated just west of the central business district, the Concordia probably would have survived the disastrous fire that consumed all of Baltimore's downtown in 1904.