The Trafalgar Theatre opened, as the National, in 1921. Financed by theatre agent Walter C. Jordan and designed by William Neil Smith, the National soon became the southernmost Broadway theatre as other nearby venues faced demolition. In 1959 impresario Billy Rose purchased and renamed the theatre for himself. In 1978 the Nederlander Organization purchased and refurbished it, renaming it the Trafalgar. Two years later it was renamed in honor of founder David T. Nederlander.