Germania Place, located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, is heading towards landmark status. The paperwork was submitted to the city in September, and is awaiting final approval.
Germania place was built in 1889, designed by the famous architecture firm of Addison and Fiedler. Addison would later design the West Side Grounds, home to the Chicago Cubs until they moved to Wrigley Field.
Germania Place was built as a social club for Chicago’s large German immigrant community. It is a terra cotta building with ornate decor on the facade. Many of the original elements of both the exterior and interior building still exist. The grand ballroom still has its original tin ceiling. The stained glass window in the second floor foyer is from the Colombian exposition at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
The popular German club was host to many celebrities in its heyday, including Albert Einstein. Club membership lists read as a who’s who of Chicago’s elite. the name was changed to the Lincoln Club upon the entry of the United States into WW1. During the depression the clubs membership began to decline, and it struggled through WW2, but managed to stabilize itself afterward.
Eventually, Germania Place was sold. Today, the club has new life as an elegant event venue. It still holds the original name of Germania Place. The two large ballrooms in the building now place host to weddings, with a doorman in a top hat and tails ready to take all visitors back in time. Once Germania Place reaches landmark status, its history and legacy will be preserved.