The Recent Years
January 3, 1954, marked the official laying of the "Corner Stone," with Mayor Edward A. Fitzgerald doing the honors. Work progressed steadily after the ceremony, and the new Germania Hall was rededicated on Sunday, June 13, 1954. At long last the German community had their new hall and were anxious to move in and get started anew with their activities.
The Inner Organizations affiliated with the Hall Association at that time were:
The Troy Maennerchor, President, Bruno Anderson
German Club, President, Peter Goedtl
Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, President. Gottlieb Speidel
Badisher Kranken und Unterstuetzen Verein, President, Franz Rebel
Frosch Club, President, Paul Reinhardt
Maennerchor Damen-Verein, President, Mrs. Hilda Kreis
Badina Damen Verein, President, Mrs. Rose Goetz
German American Rod and Gun Club, John Schlegel, President
Only two or three years after occupying the new building, it was found to be too limited in size to accommodate the various activities of the inner societies, as well as the general Hall functions. The Board of Directors made the decision to enlarge the hall building, and to rearrange the downstairs area to more efficiently handle the larger than anticipated crowds. As a result, a new addition was added to the west end of the building. Initially, the stage which was located at the west end of the upstairs hall was eliminated and a service pantry, complete with an automatic dumbwaiter, was added. Provisions to help solve the storage were included in the renovation with the inclusion of a storage room in the northwest corner of the upstairs hall, and into which a twenty-ton air conditioner was installed. It is still in operation today, over forty years later.
The kitchen area that was located at the northeast end of the downstairs area where the present office, liquor room and cloak room are located was also moved to its present location at the west end of the downstairs area. The addition to the hall building also allowed additional improvements to be made to the interior of the building, as the money became available. In the early sixties, a new ceiling was installed upstairs, complete with recessed lighting. Up-to-date loudspeakers, and heating and air conditioning outlets were also included in the installation. It also made it possible to install two much-needed improvements to the upstairs hall, the service bar and the cloak room. In the middle sixties, Germania Hall enjoyed perhaps its most popular and prosperous period to date. Membership soared to almost 800, and it became necessary to restrict memberships so that the hall could accommodate those who were presently members.
In 1971, as a prelude to the One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Troy Maennerchor, and the New York State Saengerfest, both scheduled to be held at Germania Hall in 1972, it was decided that further improvements to the downstairs bar area would be desirable. The present "U-shaped" bar was installed at a cost of over $25,000. New bar stools and tables and chairs were also purchased, adding another $15,000 to the cost. New carpeting was installed in the area and the chairs in the downstairs dining room were replaced. Additionally, the lighting in both the dining and bar areas was improved at this time.
In the early 1970's the house at the west end of the hall was purchased as a means of protecting the hall's future building considerations. Although not intended as such, and after much renovation, the house has not only become a source of limited income, but of some controversy. It presently is undergoing some additional much needed improvements.
1975 saw the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Troy German Hall Association. This was the first new group to join the association since their move into the new hall in 1954. It was made up of members of existing inner organizations, and for the first time, a number of social members became members of an inner society. Mrs. Maureen Pratt was elected as the group's first President. The Auxiliary has proven to be a valuable asset to the Hall Association. Over the years, they have raised funds through various activities and are continually making monetary donations as well as providing much-needed assistance to the hall in its activities.
In 1976, Germania Hall celebrated, along with the rest of the country, the Bicentennial of the United States of America. A three-day weekend was celebrated at the hall. A large tent was erected in the parking lot on the south side of the building, and "Gemuetlichkeit" prevailed for the entire weekend. The reserves had to be called in at 7:00 a.m., on Sunday morning, to rush in more refreshments of the liquid order, to replenish the dwindling supply on hand. It was quite a celebration. Germania Hall also entered a float in the bicentennial parade, as well as providing a host of marchers to the line of march.
In February 1978, after several attempts, a decision was made by the Board of Directors to start serving dinners on Friday evenings. It took considerable time and dedication on the part of a few people, especially President Andy Maier, to nurture the dinners progress through the years, until they have become a regular part of the Friday night tradition of the hall. As well as providing a valuable source of income to the hall, they provided a means of socializing for its members.
Also in 1978, again with the urging of President Andy Maier, a new inner society, the Schuhplattler Verein Alpenklang was organized. This was the second group made up of members of other inner organizations and social members to join the Hall Association. The group has been very active, performing in many areas of the United States as well as in Eastern Canada. In July, 1988, the group held its "Tenth Anniversary" and "Fahnenweihe" at Germania Hall. Some 600 guests from Schuhplattler Vereins located throughout the United States and Canada were present for the weekend occasion. The club's "Fahne" and related "Bandern" are on display inside the upstairs entrance to the hall.
The Inner organizations affiliated with the Troy German Hall Association at the time of their "Centennial Year" (1990) are:
Troy Maennerchor, President, Fred Kunz
Troy Maennerchor-Damen Verein, President, Mildred Blizinski
Badischer Kranken und Unterstuetzen Verein, President, Fred Kunz
Badina-Damen Verein, President, Gretel Betzwiezer
Cannstatter Volksfest Verein, President, Andy Maier
German-American Rod and Gun Club, President, Edmund Schlederer
Ladies Auxiliary of the Troy German Hall Association, President. Rita Backhaus
Schuhplattler Verein Alpenklang, President, Jim Rogers
Presidents of Germania Hall from 1954 - 1990 are:
1954 - 1956Henry Stell 1975 - 1977Karl Hauessel 1957 - 1957William Kunz (died in office) 1978 - 1980Andy Maier 1957 - 1959James Hoffman 1981 - 1983Heinz Kullman 1960 - 1961Val Rothenheber 1984 - 1985Frank DeWolf 1962 - 1965Andy Maier 1985 - 1987George Betke 1966 - 1969Heinz Kullman 1988 - 1989Martin Ratigan 1970 - 1972Andy Maier 1989 - 1990Andy Maier 1973 - 1974Frank Popp