Exploring 1313 Vine Street

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to take an extraordinary tour through a few buildings in OTR. Our first stop was 1313 Vine aka Cosmopolitan Hall. It was most recently known as The Warehouse nightclub and the ghost sign at the front door says “Bellonby,” but no matter what you call it 1313 Vine is a place full of secrets. Casey Coston recounted the history of the building in this Soapbox piece from 2009:

Cosmopolitan Hall, which most recently saw a tour of duty as the Warehouse nightclub (closed in 2004), is a particularly deceiving building when viewed solely from the outside.  A mammoth structure on the interior, stretching from Vine to Republic, it’s estimated to have a total of around 27,000 square feet (including sub-basements).  Beautiful and original Palladian-like arched windows grace the four-story facade, evidencing the height of the spacious rooms inside the impressive structure.  The building was originally constructed in 1855 as a beer garden and dance hall, following in the footsteps of a brewery which originally existed on the site.  From 1878 to 1882 it was called the “Tivoli Beer Garden.”  In the 1880s, it became a popular dance hall for immigrant Germans, Hungarians and Slavs, and, in the 1890s, was renamed Cosmopolitan Hall.  Over the decades, it careened among various uses, including a Prohibition-era speakeasy (no surprise there), an indoor golf complex, insurance offices, a lighting retailer, and a wallpaper store.  In the 1990s, the movie A Rage in Harlem filmed scenes on the stunning, spring-loaded second floor dance hall.

 1313 Vine is now discussed as the future home of the start-up community Cintrifuse.

I was accompanied on the tour by a couple friends. One was Nathan Hammitt who has graciously allowed me to share some of his snapshots from the tour. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are credited to him. Enjoy.

1313 Vine Street (instagram / overtherhine)

The second sub-basement

1313 Vine St sub-basement, credit: Scott Beseler for Soapbox

First floor

Second floor

Second floor

Third floor

Fourth floor – front

Fourth floor

Music Hall from 1313 Vine (instagram / overtherhine)

4 Responses to “Exploring 1313 Vine Street”
  1. Brett Wert says:

    I’m one of those, who did the work in the dance hall, for Rage in Harlem. I remember, exploring this building. It’s great piece of architecture which I have long been worried might become irreparable. Treat her well.

  2. Skynette says:

    Wow , a jewel!

  3. Maya Drozdz says:

    According to a descendant of the family that once owned this building, Bellonby was a furniture store.

  4. Mark Tipton says:

    Holy Cow, haven’t seen that interior since the summer of 1990! That second floor paint job is left over from the movie A Rage In Harlem, on which I spent the entire summer working on. That large space was the scene of the ‘undertakers’ ball’, and the front room on the second floor, was the office of a really bad guy, played by Danny Glover. There was a big ‘shoot out’ in that room….The ballroom stage was where Screamin’ Jay Hawkins performed his hit..’Put a Spell On You’. If you watch to movie, you’ll see it all. I picked him up at the Queensgate Holiday Inn, to take him to the location, at about 2 am. We would often shoot all night in OTR. The second floor ballroom, required temporary supports in the first floor space, to ensure the safety of all the actors, since the weight of them, and of all the equipment cause the insurance company to demand it. There was also a blue marquee out front, with chaser lights and neon, that I see is long gone. I was fortunate to be ‘on set’ for all the filming in OTR, and will be forwarding pictures soon.
    Mark Tipton, now of Rancho Mirage, CA.

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