Ford's Theatre is a historic theatre in Washington, D.C., used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded president was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning.The theatre was later used as a warehouse and office building, and in 1893 part of it collapsed, causing 22 deaths. It was renovated and re-opened as a theatre in 1968. During the 2000s it was renovated again, opening on February 12, 2009, in commemoration of Lincoln's bicentennial. A related "Center for Education and Leadership" museum experience opened February 12, 2012 next to Petersen House.The Petersen House and the theatre are preserved together as Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service; programming within the theatre and the "Center for Education" is overseen separately by the Ford's Theatre Society in a public-private partnership.Ford's Theatre is located at 511 10th Street, NW.
The site was originally a house of worship, constructed in 1833 as the second meeting house of the First Baptist Church of Washington, with Obadiah Bruen Brown as the pastor. In 1861, after the congregation moved to a newly built structure, John T. Ford bought the former church and renovated it into a theatre. He first called it Ford's Athenaeum. It was destroyed by fire in 1862, and was rebuilt the following year. When the new Ford's Theatre opened in August 1863, it had seating for 2,400 persons and was called a "magnificent new thespian temple".