“Prospect Hall Dedicated: New and Gorgeous Place of Entertainment Erected under theater building laws, Formally Opened”
The new Prospect Hall, Prospect Avenue near Fifth Avenue, was formally opened last evening with a reception and ball given by the proprietors John Kolle and his son, William Kolle. The present structure occupies the site of the old hall, which was destroyed by fire in the early morning of December 11, 1897. The flames in the ruins were hardly extinguished before Mr. Kolle set to work making arrangements for the construction of a modern, fireproof building, which would eclipse all other buildings of its kind in the city. Today the hall is completed in all its beauty and security and stands as a monument to his enterprise. The hall is 75 feet wide and 215 feet deep. The exterior, which is designed in the style of the modern French Renaissance, is constructed of light gray brick and Indiana limestone trimmings. It has a handsome cornice with large pediment over the center, which is enriched with pretty sculptural decoration, the models of which were so large that it required ten tons of modeling clay to form them.
Prospect Hall is the first hall building in Greater New York to be erected under the new theater building laws and complies with all the requirements as to large and numerous exits, exit courts, etc. In the basement are the boilers, electric generation plant, refrigerating plant, steam and gas engines and elevator machinery. On the first floor there is a large central entrance with marble and ornamental iron staircase leading to the ball room. The restaurant and the sitting room occupy the front of the building on the second floor. The banquet hall is said to be large enough to accommodate at least a thousand diners. The ballroom is decorated throughout with applied relief ornament, and in addition to beauty the matter of safety has been exceptionally well provided for, as there are no less than 20 distinct exits, all leading to the street or exit courts. The columns supporting the balcony and gallery are of polished Mycenaean marble. There is an ornamental dome in the center of the ceiling, with hundreds of electric lights, and the balcony fronts are completed with decorated plaster. The capacity of the hall is 3,000 persons.
Last night the hall was specially decorated with many colored flags and long streamers of evergreens were swung along the side of the balcony form one box to another. The stage was banked with palms and immense ferns, while one of the prettiest drop curtains, showing an exterior view, was used to make the scene a literal palm garden. In the center of these decorations a well known orchestra played excellent dance music for Mr. Kolle?s guests. The first number on the dance order was, as usual, a grand march, which was led by Mr. and Mrs. John Kolle, followed by Mr. and Mrs. William Kolle. A German singing society rendered selections during the evening and an excellent vaudeville performance was also arranged. Dancing was continued until a late hour and then supper was served in the banquet hall. There were a great many friends and patrons of Mr. Kolle present.