3. The Met Opera Could Have Been Located at Columbus Circle, Rockefeller Center or Next to Washington Square Park

For almost half a century, unfulfilled plans to move the original opera house included the execution of architectural plans, fundraising, and surveys. Otto Kahn, the president of the Metropolitan Opera Company even bought land in 1925 between 8th and 9th avenues and 56th and 57th streets for the purpose of relocating the opera house there but his plans were rejected by the board of the opera.

In 1928, another proposal backed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. was put forth for the location that is now Rockefeller Center. The stock market crash of 1929 made financing unviable for the opera house and the Metropolitan Opera Company had to pull out of the project.

Columbus Circle came into play twice, once by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930s who wanted to build a municipal arts center there, and in the 1940s, Robert Moses supported the construction of the opera house at Columbus Circle, where he also wanted to build a convention center.