Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- September 18, 1893Dedication of New South Side State Street Turnhall The South Side Turnverein and Singing Club Frohsinn Take Possession
A splendid celebration marked the opening of the Turnhall yesterday. It will be the mutual home of the South Side Turngemeinde and the singing club Frohsinn. The entire membership of both associations turned out and marched from their former quarters, Freiberg's Hall on 22nd St., to their new location with streaming flags and gay music..... Sunny hallways provided ample room for the hundreds who sought admittance to the auditorium while Weber's"Jubilee Overture" was being played. The orchestra consisted of the best musicians of the Thomas Philharmonic Association, and was conducted by Mr. G. Katzenberger..... At the conclusion of the music, Mr. R. Baum then handed over the keys of the building to D. Mueller, president of the club Frohsinn, and to C. Hammesfahr, first speaker of the South Side Turn Club. Mr. B. Baum, the architect who supervised the erection of the building was detained by illness, and therefore the 2ceremonial presentation was made to him by proxy, his son taking his place. The women of Katzenberger's Chorus and the members of Frohsinn sang from Wagner's famous "Tannhaeuser," "How Gladly We Greet the Hall." Accompanied by the orchestra, it was most impressive.
The difficulties encountered by the South Side Turngemeinde in its quest for a suitable location which would enable future expansion, were well described by Mr. T. Oehne in his festival address, which he gave in German. He said:... "It was in Dec., 1885, nearly eight years ago, when twelve men collaborated to organize a Turnverein on the South Side; a venture which had been repeatedly unsuccessful. But our undaunted men could not be discouraged nor dissuaded. Within a few months on February 22, 1886, when the First founders' festival was held, the club had already shown signs of success. Within a short time, two hundred members had enrolled..." He emphasized the power derived from unity.... At this time Mayor Harrison arrived at the meeting, but because he was rather breathless his speech was delayed for a time. In the meantime, 3Mrs. Anna Katzenberger sang the aria "Thee, Beloved Hall" from Wagner's "Tannhaeuser," which received much applause.....
Mayor Harrison was then introduced as the next speaker. When he mentioned the great number of Germans residing in this city, almost half a million, he could not restrain himself from feeding the audience some political honey..... All of them being potential voters.....
The building, located at 3143-47 State St., is three stories high; the ground floor is rather high and the facade is very ornamental. A beautiful frieze and balconies and gables give it a very impressive exterior.... The main entrance is twenty-five feet wide..... Reliefs show the busts of Beethoven and Mozart, while at the center gable the head of Father John, founder of the German gymnastic movement, has been reproduced.
The theater is seventy-five by one hundred and twenty-five feet; the stage runs along the entire east wall, and is probably the largest stage of any 4of our present halls..... The gallery provides considerable additional space. It is dignified and well-proportioned..... May it be very successful in the future.
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