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Some hold alternate theories connecting Temple of Music dome to Perrysburg hospital

People who believe that the dome at J.N. Adam originated in the Temple of Music offer a couple of other possibilities.

• If the dome was not from the apex of the ceiling of the Temple of Music, could it have come from another part of the building?

[Related: Despite legend, no evidence Perrysburg hospital dome came from 1901 Pan-Am Expo]

The architects’ drawings show that the building had a rounded, smaller room on each corner, two marked “Upper part of restaurant,” one the front entrance and the last one the back of the stage. On the drawing, the first three are labeled “curved ceiling,” with no mention of a dome or glass. The fourth, the back of the stage, is not curved.

• Is it possible that the J.N. Adam dome was made from glass saved from the other windows in the Temple of Music?

Six large windows were set just below the central plaster work, on the sides, or drum, of the curved interior ceiling. The windows were roughly square, with small semi-circular panes set in the middle of each side, evoking a star shape.

In the architectural watercolor, the glass in those windows appears to be clear, but if they were slightly opaque, it’s possible that the small panes could have been salvaged, re-cut into tapered shapes and assembled into a dome for the J.N. Adam dining room.

• Melissa Brown, executive director of the Buffalo History Museum, points to news reports of the day about the fate of the fixtures from the Temple of Music, after the Pan-Am closed and most of the buildings were being scrapped. On July 31, 1902, when some people were still interested in preserving parts of the Temple of Music, the Courier quoted a Mr. Jennings, who was in charge of the salvage. “No effort is being made to set aside the material from the Temple of Music with a view to disposing of it, and none will be made.”

“It was still news in 1902, about the demolition and who bought what,” said Susan Eck, who read two full years of the Buffalo Evening News in her research, “and there is no indication that there was ever any large, complex, glass structure that was carefully dismantled and sold to anybody. We don’t find anything in the 1902 records, and nobody in Perrysburg in the 1920s and 1930s was writing about it.”

“If you were going to take one of those windows, which are square, they would have had to completely retrofit that to make it circular,” said Brown. “My hunch has always been that maybe it’s plausible that the dome was from a building from the Pan-Am, because I know the Ethnology Building did have a central dome, but I am stymied by the issue of why Adam thought to put it away and then bring it out for this hospital 11 years later.”


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