|Address||730 21st St, NW|
|Public transit||Washington Metro |
at Foggy Bottom
|Owner||George Washington University|
|Architect||Faulkner and Kingsbury|
|Architectural style||Stripped Classicism|
|NRHP reference No.||90001548|
|Designated||October 25, 1990|
Lisner Auditorium is an auditorium located on the campus of The George Washington University, at 730 21st Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C.. It is named for Abram Lisner, a trustee of the University who donated the money for its construction.
Constructed in 1943, it served as the focus of theatrical life in Washington prior to the opening of the Kennedy Center. Today, it is still used for performances, and is the home of several companies including Washington Concert Opera.
The auditorium seats 1,490 people.
Outside of the Auditorium is the River Horse sculpture. In 1996 George Washington University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg presented this bronze statue of a hippopotamus as a gift to the University's Class of 2000. The auditorium contains a mural by Augustus Vincent Track, and the Dimock gallery is located on the lower Lisner Lounge.
Construction of Lisner Auditorium was initially funded by Abram Lisner, a German-born owner of Washington's Palais Royale department store. Additional funding for the construction project was provided by the George Washington Memorial Association and the Dimock Estate.
On October 9, 1946 the theater declined entry to African-Americans, including the Dean of the Howard University Medical School. A leaflet and boycotting campaign ensued. The National Symphony Orchestra canceled performances. In 1947, the Board of Trustees changed policy to admit African-Americans to sponsored events, but did not completely desegregate until 1954.