Teutonia Maennerchor Hall
Teutonia Männerchor Hall
Front and western side of the hall
|Location||857 Phineas St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Ott, George; Stripecke Brothers|
|NRHP Reference #||04000439|
|Added to NRHP||May 14, 2004|
The Teutonia Männerchor Hall in the East Allegheny (Deutschtown) neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a building constructed in 1888. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The Teutonia Männerchor is a private membership club with the purpose of furthering choral singing, German cultural traditions and good fellowship. The club features a number of heritage activities and celebrations, including choral singing in German and folk dancing.
The Teutonia Männerchor was founded in 1854. It was an offspring of an organization called “Liederkranz” which was founded in 1851 by Rev. Karl R. Weiterhausen. Later, the Liederkranz became the Freier Männerchor and then the Teutonia Männerchor. The name Teutonia stems from the one of the oldest German Tribes. The Teutonia Männerchor, is a part of the Pittsburgh district of the Nord-Amerikanischer Sängerbund.
The first meetings were held in the basement of an old Lutheran Church on Canal Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1882, the chorus practiced in Dahlingers Hall at 121 Madison Avenue, also in Pittsburgh. The Chorus then moved to the old Masonic Hall in Old Allegheny City. Under President Henry Bergman, the property of St. Peters Church on Pike Street was purchased on February 28, 1887 (Later renamed Phineas Street). The Charter of Incorporation was approved on April 9, 1887 and the present building was built.
The cost of the land was $5,000.00 USD and the building was erected for $8,800. The architect was George Ott and the contractor Stipecke Brothers. “Fachwerk“, an exclusive type of German architecture, was used for the exterior of the building. This traditional theme has been maintained to the present time.
The first meeting in the Hall was held on July 15, 1888. The official dedication of the Hall took place on October 15, 1888. The decorations were furnished by the Joseph Horne Company of Pittsburgh. Initiation fees were set at $5.00 and dues at $3.00 per year.
In 1934, first floor or basement was remodeled. Most of the work was done without compensation by members and it became a Ratskeller in true German style. During the year of its 80th Anniversary, it was decided to amend the constitution to honor those members of 25 years of service with an honorary membership “Life Member”: This practice is still continued today. Two adjoining houses were purchased by the club in 1947 for additions to the Hall and $27,000.00 was expended for improvements.
The 100 year Centennial was celebrated in 1954 and on May 16, of that same year, a banquet was held in the upstairs saengerhall and a concert at Carnegie Hall on Saturday June 12, 1954. The membership at the time was 897 members, including 65 singers in the Male Chorus and 45 singers in the Ladies Chorus.
In 1979, Teutonia celebrated its 125th Anniversary, Seven German Coats of Arms were donated to the club. The crests designate various areas of Germany and are now permanent fixtures on the walls of the upstairs sanger hall.
Many improvements were made during the 1980s and 1990s. All the outside walls were restored, air conditioning was added to the upstairs sanger hall and kitchen and bar equipment was replaced.
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