This unusual specimen of Victorian Romanesque Revival near Norris Square in Kensington is a multicultural marvel: a German history with an Asian owner in a Latino neighborhood. Built in 1890, this great hall hosted several German Singing Societies—social organizations of German immigrants and their German-American descendants focusing on the vocal arts. The first of these was organized in Philadelphia in 1835 (yet another Philadelphia First) and the idea quickly spread across the nation. By 1849, every city with a German-descended population hosted multiple German Singing Societies and an annual meeting called Saengerfest brought together the thousands of members for a three-day concert/competition/raging party.
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