10. Hammerstein Ballroom
Hammerstein Ballroom, located on 34th Street near Penn Station, was first built in 1906 by Oscar Hammerstein I as a venue for the Manhattan Opera Company, a competitor to the Metropolitan Opera at a lower price point. When the Met decided to move to Lincoln Center and supported the demolition of its own original opulent opera house on West 39th Street (as a means to avoid competition from any other opera company taking over the space), the organization also paid Hammsterstein $1.2 million to stop hosting operas at his theater for a period of 10 years. Hammerstein then began to host vaudeville, and later after changing owners was converted into a ballroom, became a Freemasons temple, trade union headquarters, and home to Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, who still owns it.
The large 12,000 square foot, multi-level space has hosted everything from music performances, WWE wrestling events, fashion shows and award shows.