Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - opera houses

Designers: Welsh, Thomas J., Architect (firm); Thomas John Welsh Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1885, demolished 1892

340 2nd Street
Downtown, Woodland, CA 95695

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This early opera house in the Sacramento Valley operated for a decade before it burned in a large fire that swept through Woodland, CA. Thomas J. Welsh of San Francisco designed the building.

Building History

The San Francisco architect Thomas J. Welsh was commissioned to designed an opera house for the small town of Woodland, CA, in the early 1880s. An architectural guidebook produced by the City of Woodland said of the project: "The original Woodland Opera House was built in 1885 and designed by the prominent San Francisco architect, Thomas J. Welsh. The building was destroyed in the great fire of 1892, which also consumed other structures west of the Opera House, stopping at the Capital Hotel at First Street. After some uncertainty and anxiety about the fate of the building, a local syndicate formed to fund the construction of the Opera House.” (See “5. Woodland Opera House State Park,” Explore Historic Woodland: A Walking Tour Guide to 8 Classic Neighborhoods, Downtown & Dead Cat Alley, [Woodland, CA: Historical Preservation Commission, 2007], p. 169.)

Building Notes

This was the first,large-scale, entertainment spot built in the Sacramento Valley, CA, outside of the City of Sacramento.


The Woodland Opera House #1 burned in the Great Fire of 1892. Its was replaced by a second operahouse, completed in 1896.

California Historical Landmark: 851

PCAD id: 5773