Freethinkers Meeting Site (hall)

Freethinkers Meeting Site (hall)

Reverse view of the Freer Opera House, looking west on Fourth Street toward Franklin Street. Walls not fronting on Fourth or Franklin Streets are of random ashlar rusticated stone.

Old view of Watkins

Old view of Watkins

Late nineteenth-century view of Watkins Glen, looking northeast from the hills above Franklin Street (street running diagonally at lower left edge of photo). Building at far left (arrow) is in the same block as the Opera House, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Franklin. The outdoor meeting site lies well to the right, between the two tall church steeples.

Front view of the Freer Opera House. Constructed in 1860, it features a facade of regular ashlar rusticated stone with sills and lintels of the same material. The meeting hall was on the top floor (taller windows). In 2014, the upper floors of the building, long abandoned, were renovated with loft- style apartments on the second floor. The outdoor meeting site (the park) is in deep background at far left of image, about two blocks away from the camera.

Cole-Royce Hall

Cole-Royce Hall

Meeting halls often occupied the top floor of public buildings. These two buildings face the Freer Opera House diagonally across Fourth and Franklin Streets in Watkins Glen. Their tall, open top stories were once assembly halls. The Odd Fellows Hall (left) dates to 1860. The Cole-Royce Dance Hall (right) was erected in 1925 but designed to match the style of earlier structures lost in a fire.

Cole-Royce Detail

Cole-Royce Detail

This detail of the Cole-Royce Dance Hall, at center in picture #4 (center window) clearly establishes its 1925 construction date.

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