Germania Hall

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Germania Hall
General information
Address 144-146 South Market Street
Town or city Wooster, Ohio
Country United States
Current tenants City Square Steakhouse
Completed 1878
Height 50 feet
Design and construction
Architect Charles Gasche Sr.

Comprehensive History

On June 11, 1878, restaurateur Louis Straub and butchers Frank C. Gerlach and Harry Kinkler broke ground for the construction of Germania Hall, a High Victorian Italianate-style three-story brick building. Charles Gasche Sr. was the architect, carpenter and superintendent of construction for the whole building. John Seib was contracted for the mason and brick work, William Robison for the cut stone, William Carnes for the original plastering, A. Saybolt Jr. for the tin roofing, Samuel Metzler on the graining, and Charles Gasche Jr. provided fresco paintings on the interior. The building façade included a large, simple arched pediment with finials at its ends and scrolls abutting it; typical eyebrow/keystone lancets for window hoods; and a cast iron storefront with multiple arches.

Once Germania Hall was completed, Straub opened a saloon and restaurant on the south side of the building while Gerlach and Kinkler operated a meat market in the north portion. The second floor contained living quarters, and the third floor had a dance hall. The city installed a one-room jail at the back of the saloon "where the overly inebriated were invited to spend Saturday night if they became too obstreperous."[1] Straub died in 1881, and the saloon/restaurant continued for a few years after his death, but when Gerlach died in 1885, the meat market closed and was replaced by Freedlander's "Buffalo One Price Clothing Store." Several other businesses were housed in the building over the years.

The city purchased the property in 1974 for $39,500 from owners Roland and Helen Lehman. It was briefly threatened with demolition in a 1970s Urban Renewal plan, but it was protected and renovated by new owner John Meier in 1979, and the upper two floors were converted to one-bedroom apartments.

In 2008, following another renovation, owner Mike Mariola opened the City Square Steakhouse on the ground level of Germania Hall.


  • Louis Straub, Frank C. Gerlach, Harry Kinkler
  • Louise Straub
  • 1900-1906: Marcus Van Nest
  • 1906-??: William Nold and Ernest Thoman
  • ??-1935: Robert L. Adair
  • 1935: Marie Schaf
  • 1935-1967: James H. Smedley (acquired in parts)
  • 1967-1974: Roland and Helen Lehman
  • 1974-1991: The City of Wooster
  • 1991-??: John Meier
  • 2007?-date: Mike Mariola


Historical documents


  • 1878- built


Newspaper articles





  • July 10, 1878: "Germania Hall. Completion of Straub's and Gerlach & Kinkler's New Building" by Unknown, Wayne County Democrat, p. 3.


  • January 05, 1977: "Renovation? Demolition?" by Unknown, The Daily Record, p. 27.



  • July 13, 1977: "Germania Hall Was House Grandpa Built" by Elinor Taylor, The Daily Record, p. 25.



  1. Daily Record, 13 July 1977, p.2