Goodspeed Opera House

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When I first arrived at the boat launch in Haddam for the Eagle Cruise I spotted a gorgeous old building right on the river. I took some pictures from the dock and then returned to the car to drive over to the building.

To get there I just had to take a right out of the boat landing and cross a steel bridge and the building was right there on the right.

I had time so I parked and walked back up to the building.

On the front of the building is 1876. There was a large billboard in the window advertising a show. I wasn’t sure if this was current or just on the building for “show”. The building was certainly in excellent condition and quite impressive. It had to be to catch my eye. I am an architectural idiot. Buildings usually don’t catch my attention like that.

Back on the boat the Captain pointed out the building and told us it was the Goodspeed Opera House but that was about all he said. So it fell to me to do a little digging if I wanted to be able to give you any background.

What I found out is that the Goodspeed Opera house is a historic landmark. It was built in 1876 by William Goodspeed who was a merchant and banker. It’s original use was as a store, office and steamship docking point. Right from the beginning it had a theater on it’s top 2 floors.

The architectural style is listed as Second Empire because of the mansard roof.

The first performance in the Opera House was Oct. 24, 1877. William Goodspeed died in in 1926 and the building was used for various purposes after that including being a World War I militia base, a general store and a storage facility for the Highway department.

The building began to fall into disrepair until a non-,profit organization, Goodspeed Musicals, restored it in 1959. The building was rededicated in 1963 and has continued since then to be a home for musical performances.

I have listed a couple of links that you can check out for more information including a list of performances and ticket prices.


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