The Indianapolis Journal - January 6, 1870
But in speaking of late improvements about the city, the most praiseworthy of all is Blessing’s Opera Hall, situation on the northeast corner of the Public Square. The main building fronts forty-six feet, and is over a hundred deep. The front floor is divided into two large business rooms, both occupied by Trees & Griffey, hardware merchants. The Hall occupies the entire second floor, and has permanent seats for about five hundred, and will hold many more when necessary. The Hall is beautifully finished, and painted in the most elaborate style. The stage is large, and finely arranged with every possible convenience. The drop curtain presents a very pretty Cuban scene, and the stage is well supplied with scenes for almost every use. Mr. Blessing, at a great expense, has fixed to manufacture his own gas for this building and his private dwelling, and the Hall, therefore, has the added charm for gas-light. The entrance is wide and so arranged that the hall may be vacated in three minutes in case of an alarm. Without doubt, it is the handsomest and most complete Hall in the State outside of Indianapolis. The third story is to be occupied by the Masons, and is now in course of preparation for them. It contains all kinds of rooms necessary to the craft, arranged in fine taste and with every convenience, even to a spacious dining-room, where the craft may refresh themselves after a hard night’s “work”.
The building, especially the hall, is a very great credit to the place, and reflects special honor upon Mr. John Blessing. there are many other men in the city possessed with as much of this world’s goods as Mr. Blessing, but for enterprise, public spirit, and a generous determination to build p the city, he outweighs the whole of them. Would that such Blessings as John were more numerous, here and elsewhere.
-Special Correspondence Indianapolis Journal, Shelbyville, January 3, 1870