Knights of Pythias - IOOF Hall - Lewistown, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 47° 04.002 W 109° 25.439
12T E 619667 N 5213781
Quick Description: Built as a lodge hall for both the Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias, today it is unclear whether this building continues to serve its original purpose.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 2/22/2018 5:36:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMXT23
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member The Wild Road
Views: 1

Long Description:
Another of the many buildings designed by local architects Wasmansdorff and Eastman, the IOOF-KP hall has been lauded as "one of his most remarkable 'brick' buildings". It is, indeed, quite an interesting building, with its large Romanesque arches of contrasting brick, overhanging cornice with outsized modillions, moulded terra cotta beltline and terra cotta pilaster capitals and bases. As was the norm, the building was built with lodge rooms above a ground floor intended as retail space to be rented as a means of income for the lodges.

The Lewistown chapter of the International Order of Oddfellows, Judith Lodge #30, was incorporated in June of 1913 and, in a somewhat uncommon partnership with the Knights of Pythias, built this three storey brick lodge in 1914. Constructed by Piper Construction, the lodge stands on the corner Main Street and First Avenue, with construction beginning in March or early April of 1914. Piper Construction's winning bid for the contract was $27,600, nearly $6,000 below the next lowest bid.

Not long after completion of the building the Odd Fellows hosted first a State Convention, then a district Convention of the Odd Fellows.

IOOF-KP Hall Fraternalism was well established in Lewistown in 1892, and the opening years of the 20th Century witnessed an increased growth in the number of fraternal organizations (as many as 14). They were "not only prominent in the spiritual and moral life of Lewistown, but also aided in its material growth", which is reflected in this handsome fraternal building.

In June of 1913, Articles of Incorporation for Judith Lodges #30 were filed. The Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias exemplified a true fraternal spirit by joining together in erecting the new fraternal building at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue.

Otto F. Wasmansdorff and George D. Eastman, of Lewistown, were the architects for the new hall.

Built of the dark brick produced locally by the Lewistown Brick and Tile Co., with Hebron brick and terra cotta details, the building is compatible, in design and dimensions, with the architecture of the period.

The first floor has been impacted and the two story high volume interior space between the arched windows has been impacted by the construction of an additional floor within that volume. However, this building contributes greatly to the masonry associations on Main Street and furthermore, acts as a focus or anchor to the east end of the commercial district. The designer of this structure had dual training as both architect and engineer; the logic of the engineer can be sensed in the design. It is one of his most remarkable "brick" buildings.
From the NRHP Nomination Form, Site# 126


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