Collection Facts

128 items
Dates of Original: 
1930 - 1972
NYH Topic Area(s):

Historical Context

Lincoln Auditorium is located in the Central High School building in Syracuse, New York. Central High School was built in 1903 at the intersection of South Warren and Adams Street, to replace the 1867 Syracuse High School facility. Central High was designed by architect Archimedes Russell. The school has many unique architectural features, including its U-shaped design. The auditorium is located in the interior of the U-shaped building and has seating and a stage. It was originally called Assembly Hall, but was rededicated in 1903 as Lincoln Hall. Several years later the auditorium was altered to improve the acoustics by sound expert W.C. Sabine. In 1907 Lincoln Hall was reopened, with Neo-Baroque panels of acoustical plaster. The auditorium’s arch was said to be one of the largest in the United States and was adorned with a gilded eagle. In 1928 Central High was remodeled by architect Albert L. Brockway. He enlarged the assembly room to create the Lincoln Auditorium. The 1875 seat Lincoln Auditorium was used by the students at Central High, and was also used by the Syracuse community. It became Syracuse’s cultural center. Artists such as George Gershwin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arthur Fiedler performed at Lincoln Auditorium. The Syracuse Symphony performed in this hall for many years until the Onondaga County Civic Center was built in the mid 1970s.
The high school operated under the name Syracuse Central High School from 1903 to 1960 and later as Syracuse Central Technical High School. In 1975, the high school officially closed after the graduation of the senior class. Even though the high school has been vacant since 1975, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981.

Scope of Collection

Lincoln Auditorium, Central High School Programs Collection contains a collection of programs from a wide range of orchestras and artists such as musicians, singers, dancers, and actors performed at the Lincoln Auditorium in Syracuse. The collection contains programs dated from 1930-1972. A majority of the programs were collected by Nicholas C. Nett and others have been donated by various community members. Some of the programs are autographed by the performers.