The Liederkranz home on Butternut Street

From 1913 until 1974, the corner of Butternut and Josephine Street was home to the Liederkranz clubhouse and restaurant. The Liederkranz club had purchased this site in 1913, originally home to the Olivet Methodist Church. The Liederkranz club was formed in 1855 by several men of German ancestry in an effort to preserve German traditions and songs in the then town of Syracuse. At its peak the club had 4,000 members and a waiting list. In 1974, the group was down to 1,700 members and financial woes forced them to sell the building. It was sold to Richard Easterly, a former Syracuse University quarterback who opened ‘Downtown Quarterback’, a sports themed restaurant which closed soon after. Easterly was a member of Syracuse’s 1959 National Championship team that went 11-0 under Hall of Fame Coach Ben Schwartzwalder. As the building sat empty in 1981, a fire broke out destroying the structure. In my hand is a matchbook from the Liederkranz club, holding it out to where the building once stood.