Philadelphia Circus

P.T. Barnum’s main competitor Adam Forepaugh opened this circus building on November 27, 1865 as the Philadelphia Circus and Menagerie. Forepaugh used to travel with a large hippodrome big top, this circus building at 10th and Callowhill Street in Philedelphia was his first permanent circus building. This circus building wasn’t used as a winter quarters as was the purpose of many European circus buildings when traveling under canvas was already common. Adam Forepaugh’s winter quarters were located in Port Richmond at Lehigh Avenue and Mercer Street.

Forepaugh also rented his circus to others who wanted to perform there. Amongst them VanAmburgh & Company, the circus and menagerie von Isaac van Amburgh. The Great Champion Circus, owned by Mrs. Charles Warner, performed several times at the Philadelphia Circus in the 1860s and early 1870s.

The building was sold in 1917 after serving several years as a Theatre and Variety Venue. Over the years the building has been remodeled beyond recognition.


398-388 N 10th St.
PA 19107 Philadelphia

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