DANK Haus

4740 N Western Ave Chicago

Lincoln Square/DANK Haus
Chicago Scene
Written By Chicago Scene

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DANK Haus is a German-American cultural center with a library, a museum, and rooms to rent, as a community center. The center also acts as a place of learning as they offer German language classes for all ages, including one of the nation’s best German-language schools for children, which opened in 1964. Additionally, they also offer events and programs throughout the year, such as a viewing party for Eurovision, the annual pan-European song contest, and of course, Oktoberfest. Other events, like comedy shows and concerts of classical music are also hosted at DANK Haus.

DANK is an acronym; it stands for Deutsch Amerikanischer National Kongress, which in English means German American National Congress. There are branches and chapters of this organization all over the United States, and the chapter in Lincoln Square is known as the Chicago North chapter. This chapter was founded in 1959, although the original location is not its current location.

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The building that houses DANK Haus now was designed in 1927 by a well-known architect at the time, Paul Gerhardt, whose other design projects were hotels and warehouses around Chicago. The building was built with its original inhabitants in mind, the Three Links Association, but, in 1967, DANK Haus bought the space for themselves. Since then there have been many renovations as a fire damaged their first floor in 1980, the effects of which have not been cleaned up entirely yet. The building’s facade was also restored in 2012.

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