This Day in History—November 14: Grand Opening of BAM’s Peter Jay Sharp Building
On this day in 1908, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) celebrated the opening of its new home at 30 Lafayette Avenue—now the Peter Jay Sharp Building—in grand style. Superstar tenor Enrico Caruso headlined the new hall’s opening night gala, singing the lead in Faust with the Metropolitan Opera. In the 111 years since, BAM’s flagship facility has hosted performances by acclaimed artists of every decade, from Duke Ellington to Radiohead.
A replacement for BAM’s first building on Montague Street which was lost to fire in 1903, the Sharp building was designed by the firm of Herts & Tallant in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. A major restoration of the building and cornice reconstruction was completed in 2005 and the edifice was renamed in honor of the project’s main benefactor, Peter Jay Sharp. In 2018, SUPERSTRUCTURES prepared a Conditions Report to provide a comprehensive overview of defects and problems reported in the building’s brick, stone, and terra cotta facade and flat roofs. It details recommendations for remediation of these issues, categorized in three levels of priority. The first phase of restoration work is currently under way and we’re proud to be contributing to the preservation of this vibrant Brooklyn landmark.