Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 01, 1864Dedication of the Turnhalle
Yesterday's opening of the new Turnhalle was one of the most joyful events in the history of the Garden City. Before describing the dedicatory ceremonies to our readers, we shall depict the building. The facade is built in the neo-Italian style and presents a pretty picture in its festive decorations. At the peak of the facade, the American flag waves proudly, symbolizing the patriotism of those good sons of Germany who will make the Turnhalle the scene of much future social and intellectual activity.
We shall try to acquaint our readers with this building, which is so arranged that it will adequately meet all the demands for which it has been erected.
The building site, which has been leased for a period of ten years, is 101 by 160 feet, and is conveniently located, being readily accessible by streetcar from the north and the south. In accordance with the plan of the architect, 2Mr. H. Rehwoldt, the building covers only a part of the plot, eaving sufficient room for open-air gymnastics. Mr. Paesch supervised the masonry work, and Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Katz were the carpenter contractors.
The Halle is a two-story building of solid frame construction. The foundation is of stone. The structure is about 50 feet high, 73 feet wide, and 142 feet long. The first floor contains a spacious vestibule, from which a ten-foot stairway leads to the second story: There is a billiard room, 30 by 24 feet, on the first floor; also a club-room, 30 by 24 feet, with door to the street; and a long bar for the refreshment of thirsty souls. The basement contains the gymnasium, which is 70 by 65 by 24 feet, with an area of nearly 5,000 square feet. Here we find various types of apparatus for exercise. On the left side of the building, there is a reading room, a dining room, and a bedroom for the caretaker.
The dance hall occupies most of the second story. The devotees of Terpsichore 3will have an area of 7,700 square feet to practice their art. Thus the dance hall is one of the largest in Chicago, equalling the space in Bryan's Hall and having many advantages which other halls do not offer. To prevent any danger in an emergency, the dance hall is provided with fine wide doors, and the large stairway is accessible from two directions. Two stairways lead to the lower floor and basement where they are connected with outside doors, and there is a special stairway from the stage to the gymnasium. A special room, 20 by 22 feet, containing a wardrobe, wash stand, and toilet, has been provided for the comfort and convenience of the ladies. A room with like conveniences has been furnished for the men.
Two stairways lead from the vestibule of the second floor to the galleries, which are located on each side of the dance hall. Two rooms have been arranged on the second floor for the general comfort of the dancers. These rooms are furnished with card tables, and, no doubt, will be the scene of many card parties.4
Two large heating plants have been built in the basement and will supply the whole building with the necessary warmth. A kitchen has been arranged immediately under the dining room, and a dumb waiter has been installed for the convenience of cooks and waiters. The basement also contains a large beer cellar and toilets. Mr. Becker did all the tinwork, Mr. Lampatner furnished the gas appliances, Williams & Wiseman did the glazing and decorating, and Mr. Lester installed the heating equipment; and, in the opinion of experts, these men did their work very well.
Mr. John W. Doehler furnished the decorations for the dedication. The stage was graced by a bust of Father Jahn, the founder of German gymnastics. His likeness reminds one of the days when the turner movement was in its infancy, and the memory furnishes a delightful contract between those dreary days and the present. The members of the Turngemeinde formed a semicircle on the stage, above which places were reserved for officials, speakers, the building committee, and reporters.5
At 3:30 P. M., Mr. August Becker gave the keys of the Turnhalle to the representative of the building committee, Mr. Huhn, who in turn handed them to the chairman of the executive board. Thereupon, Mr. B. Wiedinger, the president of the Turngemeinde, thanked all the men who had participated in the erection of the new building. Addresses were made by Mrs. Kenkel, Wilhelm Rapp, and Mr. Foellger.
In the evening a concert was given. The program was very good, and delighted the assembly. Festivities will be concluded tomorrow evening with a grand ball.
II B 3, III B 2
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