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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Wright Opera House Block Complex
Reference Number 13000443
State Michigan
County Gratiot
Town Alma
Street Address 101-113 East Superior Street and 408 North State Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/26/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture, Commerce, Social History, Entertainment/Recreation
Link to full file
The Wright Opera House Block Complex meets National Register criterion A under Commerce as one of Alma's largest commercial buildings from the Opera House Block's completion in 1880 down to recent years. Built to contain five store spaces along Superior, the city's main street, and expanded in 1899 with the Lancashire Building, containing two more store spaces, the combined and interconnected building, entirely under the ownership of Dr. J. H. Lancashire by 1900, functioned as the city's largest commercial block. The building also meets criterion A under Entertainment/Recreation and Social History for containing a two-story opera house that served as a major public gathering place in Alma from 1880 into the early twentieth century and then , renovated, served as the city's Masonic Temple from 1919 until1961. The complex meets criterion B for its direct associations with Ammi W. Wright, the city's leading businessman and citizen in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who financed the Opera House Block's 1879-80 construction and had his office and store there in the building's early days. The 1880 original section of the Opera House Block is also significant under criterion C, Architecture, as Alma's first large brick commercial block and as the city's key ltalianate commercial building both for its size and elaborate brick detailing.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria