Opening Night copyright 2003
Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater, Menomonie, Wisconsin ~ circa 1895
Story: As evening falls the soft glow from the beautiful windows of the theater send a warm invitation to all those passing by. Excitement has been building for several weeks with the anticipation of the great performance that is soon to begin on this Opening Night.
The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater was constructed in 1889 as a tribute to young Mabel Tainter, a lover of music and the arts, who died in 1886 at the age of nineteen. The Memorial was commissioned by Captain and Mrs. Andrew Tainter. Andrew was one of the lumber barons for Knapp, Stout & Co. The Memorial still serves today as a performing arts theater, public reading room and cultural center.
The Memorial was constructed during the grand Victorian era, and no expense was spared. The exterior of the building is constructed of Dunnville sandstone quarried along the Red Cedar River southeast of the present village of Downsville. Harvey Ellis was the building's architect. In his designs, Ellis included the Moorish style of curved surfaces, combination of arches, and hand carved details framing the main entrance.
The interior of the building contains hand stenciled walls and ceilings, marble staircase and floors, leaded stained glass windows, walnut and oak woodwork, brass fixtures and four fireplaces each built with a different stone or technique.
The Mabel Tainter Theater still contains the original Steere & Turner tracker pipe organ. The organ has a total of 1597 pipes and 28 stops. The pipes range from 2 inches to 16 feet. The organ was originally water powered, but it was later converted to electric. The organ's restoration began in 1957 and since then has been fully restored.
For more information you can go to www.mabeltainter.com