Monday, October 01, 2007

Turner Hall Restoration

I just heard that the Pasbst Theater organization is now booking rock concerts at Turner Hall. This is a very cool old venue. Back on 4/23/2005, Soul Amp played at Turner Hall at charity concert for MKE Rally Against Violence. Back then Steve White was still a member of the band.

The Turners were (and are) a pretty interesting organization that got started in Germany during the 1800s. They were a bunch of "gymnastic unions" with the motto "Sound Mind in a Sound Body." In fact the word Turners is derived from the German word turnen for gymnastics. One of their edicts is:

"Liberty, against all oppression; Tolerance, against all fanaticism; Reason, against all superstition; Justice, against all exploitation!"

I don't know too much more about them... but that seems like pretty good stuff...

For info on Turners check out:

For more info on Turner Hall see:

Here's the upcoming gigs:

Here's a couple of articles on the upcoming concerts at Turner Hall:

Turner Hall was build in 1882. It's a very cool building with a gymnasium, a restaurant/bar, and the ball room. The ballroom experienced a fire in 1933 that basically shut it down for entertainment purposes and so it was then used primarily for storage until the year 2000. The fire was reportedly started by a short in a Christmas tree at a Christmas Eve part in 1933. The damage was mainly to the stage area as seen on some beams here:

Turner Hall restoration - fire damage - Milwaukee - soul-amp.comTurner Hall Milwaukee

There was another fire in 1941, but I'm not sure what damage that caused.

Here's some more pics that I and E (thank you) took when we played on 4/23/2007 :

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - ornate pillar - Turner Hall Milwaukee

That's a pillar they restored to show what could be done to the hall to fix it up if funds can be secured to do it.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - the wall of windows that face downtown - soul-amp.comTurner Hall Milwaukee

The windows that face downtown.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - ceiling dome - paint peeling away - Turner Hall Milwaukee

Here's one of the domes found in the ceiling. You can see the paint peeling away. Not sure how many layers off stuff there is, but originally there was supposed to be a bunch of stencil work. It would've been very cool to see it after it had just opened. It's very cool now and quite gothic looking. Makes you wonder how much of it should be restored or how much should be just left as is.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - windows facting downtown as seen from balconey - soul-amp.comTurner Hall Milwaukee

These are the windows as seen from the balcony.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - balconey - Turner Hall Milwaukee

Here's the rear balcony photographed from the side balcony.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - ornate fixtures -

Turner Hall Milwaukee

This is some of the ornate wood working found under some of the arches.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - the stage - soul-amp.comTurner Hall Milwaukee

That's Brad and Steve White discussing something about the stage.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - the stage - soul-amp.comTurner Hall Milwaukee

This is from the side balcony. The stage back then was very uneven with many a loose board. It was tough to find a place for my keyboards where I wasn't afraid they would fall over. Made for a memorable gig (in addition to having to lug all the equipment up a couple flights of stairs... they now have an elevator).

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - soul-amp.comSoul Amp at Turner Hall.

Here we are on the stage. Pic by E.

Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - Soul Amp at Turner Hall.

Another shot of us. Pic by E.

Soul Amp - Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - rooms next to the hall -soul-amp.comBrad Odland - Soul Amp

Brad Odland, the manically mastermind of the band. This was in set of rooms next to the ball room. I think these were small dressing rooms that Brad is standing. They many also have been bathrooms, I can't recall now. They add some wonderful old junk back there... including some gymnastic equipment.

Soul Amp - Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - old piano - pile of chairs -soul-amp.comM1 - Soul Amp

Check out the old piano we found and those rooms next to the ball room. Also, I really dig the jumbled up pile of chairs behind me.

Soul Amp - Turner Hall restoration - Milwaukee - voodoo drummer -

Voodoo Drummer - Soul Amp

M2 rocking out.

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