“To live in one’s own house and be its sole resident is a benefit, but one with which unfortunately fewer than half the city’s inhabitants are blessed. If an opportunity to reach that goal is offered, those who understand the joy of one’s own hearth and freedom from the the will of others will not shirk the years of effort and cost it takes to acquire such a blessing. To an even greater extent than for an individual, an organization must be eager to have its own house, in which it can be its own master as it sees fit, and over which it may command what it wishes at any time, applying its own objectives.
Of all the German singing clubs here, the Liederkranz – the oldest club in pursuit of art and the one with the largest membership as well as having a cheerful, convivial atmosphere – has been successful not only in settling in its own house, but also in building its house from the ground up and specifying the layout in accordance with the organization’s purposes.
The conveniently located building is on Fourth Street, between Broadway and Lafayette Place: it is 50 feet wide and 130 feet deep, with four stories, which are connected by several comfortable main staircases and narrower side ones. The 25-foot-high concert hall and ballroom is located on the second floor; it takes up the entire width of the building and is 75 feet long. The side walls and rear wall are decorated with Ertle’s grand symbolic painting, and the ceiling will ultimately be adorned with frescoes. A metal reflector has been mounted in the middle of the ceiling, which will amplify the illumination produced by the forty-five gaslight jets. Some artistic embellishments to this reflector would make a pleasant impression; as it is now, it looks a bit stark and meager.
Two balconies are located halfway up the salon wall facing the front of the building, i. e., two friendly rooms separated from the ballroom by only a one-foot-high banister. These areas will take the place of galleries. They have the advantage over galleries, in that they are deeper, more airy, and offer a place to listen without being seen. Their disadvantage is that not as many people can be accommodated as in a gallery."