On January 23, 1885, famed freethought orator Robert Green Ingersoll delivered one of his controversial lectures on religion, "Orthodoxy," at Oswego's Academy of Music.
The Academy of Music stood just north of the Market House, the surviving structure known today as Old City Hall. The Academy building was a nondescript wharfside affair. The auditorium occupied the upper floor; the ground floor housed a produce wholesaler, a ship's chandler, and other businesses.
The auditorium, Academy of Music Hall, opened in 1875. It closed when the building was condemned on December 24, 1892. Demolition followed.
The Richardson Theatre, a state-of-the-art facility, opened on the Academy of Music's site in January 1895. In 1904, the property was purchased and demolished so that railroad tracks down the center of Water Street could be rerouted. The tracks were removed in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and the site became the municipal parking lot that it is today. Thanks to historian Mark Slosek for research assistance.