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Academy of Music
Junction of Gregory and York Streets

Academy of Music
Postcard circa 1900.
Courtesy, Jersey City Free Public Library
Above: Detail from Hudson County Atlas 1873
showing the outline of the Kepler's Law Court and Market on the lower left.
The structure stood at the northwest corner of York and Warren Streets.

Credits: New York Society of Model Engineer's Library, Ralph Sutton Collection
Historical Maps of New Jersey site of Rutgers University

The Academy of Music is considered the "first regular" theater in Jersey City; it originated on the second floor over Kepler's Market, an 1870 structure built by Jersey City inventor, Charles F. Durant. The space was renovated as a theater with a square balcony and gallery in 1877 by the Emma Abbott Opera Company.

William Henderson, a New York theater manager, became interested in the local theater project when he came to Jersey City to produce the remaking of La Maitre De Forge by George Onet, which was renamed Claire and the Forge Master, dramatized by his wife, Mrs. Ettie Henderson.

William Henderson purchased the theater, completely renovated the interior, and reopened the playhouse on September 15, 1887. The first production was the play Featherbrain, featuring Minnie Maddern Fisk. After his death in 1889, the theater continued with his widow, Ettie Henderson, as owner and her son, Frank E. Henderson, as manager. Henderson also owned the Majestic Theater on Grove Street, opened in 1907.

The Academy of Music may have been among the many buildings razed in the late 1950's to make way for the construction of the Gregory Park Apartment buildings

In late 1999, The Gotham, a modern high-rise luxury apartment building with an Art Deco style exterior, opened on the site.

By: Carmela Karnoutsos
Project Administrator: Patrick Shalhoub