E. C. Horn Sons, Architects & Contractors

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New York City, New York, 1908-1929

DBA: E. C. Horn & Sons, E. C. Horn's Sons, C. E. Horn & Sons

E. C. Horn Sons were architects and builders in New York City who designed vaudeville and moving picture houses across the U. S. in the early twentieth century. Edward C. Horn (1854-1908) was a builder and his sons included Charles E. Horn (1890-1949), an architect; Edward C. Horn (1896-1929), a builder; and Stephen S. (1883-1968), an architect.[4][6][7][a][b] Their Nebraska building, the American Music Hall in Omaha of 1909-1910, was commenced soon after father E. C. Horn's death, when the firm was identified in Omaha newspapers as "E. C. Horn Sons." The successor firm was listed as C. E. Horn & Sons when it designed the Strand Theater in New Britain, Connecticut in 1926, which the local press cited as the firm's 381st theater, located "all over the North American continent, from Canada to Santa Domingo and from New York to Seattle."[8][d][e]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Educational & Professional Associations

Buildings & Projects

American Music Hall, Omaha, Nebr. (Postcard, Zimmer Collection)

The American Music Hall, (1909-1910), northeast corner of 18th & Douglas, Omaha, Nebraska.[1][2][3]


a. New York State Census of 1892 lists as residing in Brooklyn Edw. C. Horn, builder, age 38; with his wife Cecilia, age 36; sons Charles (ll), Steven (8), Morgan (6), and Clarence (2).[5] The New York State Census of 1905 lists in Brooklyn: Edw. Horn, builder, 50; his wife Cecilia (50); daughter Margaret (19); sons Charles, a mason, 25; Stephen, a builder, 21; and John (12), and Edward (9).[6] In 1906, Edward (presumably the father, a builder) and Charles (an architect) shared a Manhattan office and a Brooklyn residence.[4]

b. The Horn family gravestone in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is inscribed with the following names and dates: Edward C. Horn (1854-1908), Cecilia Horn (October 14, 1916), Edward C. (1896-1929), Charles E. (1890-1949), Stephen S. (1883-1968).[7]

c. The Omaha Bee reported October 27, 1909, that "A representative of the Horns, who are prominent New York theater builders, has been here for some time working on the plans. The Omaha building will be almost an exact duplicate of a New York play house." The same newspaper on October 30th notes "E. C. Horn Sons, the architects and general contractors, have designed and built a great number of theaters all over the country and have a reputation of completing their work on time."[1]

d. The New Britain Herald also credited "the original member of this firm and the father of the present architect, who designed and built the Lyceum theater here 35 years ago. At that time the firm was known as Horn and Smith..." adding that "It was also the father of the present architect who designed and supervised the construction of the famed Metropolitan Opera House in New York."[8]

e. Accounts of the construction of Orpheum Theater in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1906 provides a glimpse into the family's practice a few years before construction of the Omaha playhouse. The Morning Call {Allentown, Pennsylvania) noted that "E. C. Horn, theatre builder, and his son S. S. Horn, of New York, were in this city yesterday...Sketches of the new theatre were submitted by Charles E. Horn, the architect...Mr. [E. C.] Horn...is a theatre builder among the first in the country...He is the builder or remodeller of such theatres as the Metropolitan Opera House, Keith's, Savoy, Wallooks and Princess theatres of New York City. S. S. Horne will be in charge of the work in this city."[9]


1. "Theater Contract Let to New Yorkers--F. [sic] C. Sons will build William Morris house for J. L. Brandeis & Sons," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (October 27, 1909), 4; "Permit for New Theater--Formal License Calls for Price of Hundred Thousand Dollars--Issued to J. L. Brandeis & Sons," Omaha (Nebraska) Daily Bee (October 30, 1909), 8.

2. "Decorators Are in New Morris Theater--Oil P[a]intings on Ceilings, Light Green on Walls and Ivory and Gold on Reliefs. Brandeis' Vaudeville House will Hold 1,800 People and Have Twenty-two Exits," Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald (May 17 1910), 12.

3. "Opening at Beautiful American Music Hall Omaha's Newest Theater," Omaha (Nebraska) Sunday Bee (September 4, 1910), 4F (illustrated).

4. Brooklyn, New York City Directory, 1906, 506.

5. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1892 [database on-line], s. v. "Cecilia Horn." Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

6. Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1905 [database on-line], s. v. "Cecilia Horn." Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

7. Find A Grave [database on-line]], https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/144353186/cecilia-horn (accessed October 5, 2020).

8. "Opening of Strand is to Be a Gala Theatrical Event," New Britain (Connecticut) Herald (November 10, 1926), 13.

9. "Crash! Will Go Houses. And up will go the New Orpheum on North Sixth Street," The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania) (March 8, 1906), 1.

Page Citation

E. F. Zimmer, “E. C. Horn Sons, Architects & Contractors,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, October 8, 2020. http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/index.php?title=Place_Makers_of_Nebraska:_The_Architects Accessed, August 18, 2022.

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