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The site of the Opera House was first occupied, in 1876, by a wooden circus building. A new brick structure, with an elaborate interior and a roof that was supported on an arcade of ornamental cast iron columns around the central area was erected in 1878. In 1908, the hippodrome was converted into a theatre which incorporated the cast iron columns and roof structure from the 1878 building. Following closure in 1972 the Opera House was listed Grade II and re-opened in 1976 after substantial and destructive refurbishment work. In 1987 the theatre suffered flooding and the loss of structural integrity of the front of house buildings. As a result these buildings were demolished.

Woodhall was commissioned to prepare an appraisal of the auditorium. It was demonstrated that the historical value of the building had been substantially reduced by the 1976 alterations and that there was a substantial conservation deficit in either restoring or converting it to new use. As a result here was no alternative but to demolish the auditorium and redevelop the site. Listed Building Consent was granted to demolish the building prior to redevelopment of the site.

Royal Opera House Title
Royal Opera House

 

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