274 Lafayette Street, Utica, New York | Unmarked Location
On Wednesday, February 20, 1888, the famed agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll delivered "Ghosts," one of his most popular and controversial lectures critical of Christianity, at the Opera House in downtown Utica. Local news accounts reported that 1,000 persons attended, equivalent to the Opera House's seating capacity.
Utica's Opera House was opened by the city's Mechanics Association in 1871. It seated 1,000 but was indifferently successful; historic accounts suggest the facility's design was a bit behind the times when it was built. In 1901, it was extensively renovated and renamed the Majestic Theatre (shown).