Historic Property: The Beehive of Elkdom: 42 Church Street Was Home to Everett Elks Lodge

(The following is a weekly feature in the Independent based on the City’s 2018 Historic Property Survey done to note the many little-known historically significant properties within the city.)

Architectural Description:

Constructed in 1949, the former Elks Home is a flat-roofed building with a brick veneer and a classically-inspired two-story “Temple” front superimposed on its Church Street façade. Five two-story brick pilasters articulate the façade and support a full pediment which originally had a central medallion. The first floor of the façade is fronted by a single-story, four-bay portico supported by squat, fluted columns. Underneath the porch there is a double-doored entrance in the third bay; it appears that there was a second entrance in the adjacent bay but this has been filled with brick. The two end bays of the first floor façade contain double-hung 8/8 windows. On the second floor, the original large arched, multi-light windows have been removed and the openings filled. One of the openings has metal double doors which open onto the porch roof which is enclosed by a simple balustrade with square posts and stick balusters that replaces the original railing that had bulbous balusters. The building is setback from the street with a concrete sidewalk leading to the front, flanked by small lawn areas that are enclosed with chain link fence. In the 1950s the front lawn had carefully clipped hedges. A sidewalk to the south of the building leads down to a basement level, below the street level. Many of the rectangular window openings on the lesser elevations were blocked and covered with a brick veneer in 1981.

Historical Narrative

On July 25, 1901 the Everett Lodge #642 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was granted a charter. In 1905 the lodge purchased the former Glendon Clubhouse which was built on this site in 1893 according to plans by architect J.C. Spofford (Book 3150, Page 450). On December 19, 1947 the original building was damaged by fire and it was torn down in November 1948. The pouring of the foundation for a new lodge began on April 5, 1949 and the steel was erected on May 27th. The cornerstone was laid on June 14, 1949. The contractor was the Concrete Construction Company and the cost of the building was $150,000.

On November 11, 1954 the Lodge had a party to celebrate the burning of their mortgage. In the latter half of the 20th century, the Everett Lodge was very active and involved in the community. It was reportedly so busy that it was nicknamed “the beehive of Elkdom”. Various alterations were made to the building in the years that followed. In 1953 the walls were sheathed in the Assembly Room in the basement and in 1959 the wooden railing in the front of the building was replaced by a metal railing. In 1961 interior alterations were made at a cost of $18,000 and an addition was constructed. The windows in the Lodge Room were changed in 1977. In 1979 after a fire, walls were repaneled, new carpeting and tile floors were installed as were suspended ceilings. Finally, in 1981, a total of 22 window openings were blocked up and an outer brick veneer was installed at these former openings.

On July 25, 2001, Everett Lodge #642 celebrated its 100th Anniversary as a lodge. In 2003 the Lodge established a Building Committee to investigate the Lodge’s options for renovation or relocation. In November 2005 Everett Lodge #642 sold the building at 42 Church Street to Ottavio Passanisi and leased back the main floor as a temporary home while they searched for a new location. In 2007 Everett Lodge #642 merged with Saugus Lodge #2100 and relocated to the Saugus Lodge site to form the Saugus-Everett Lodge #642.

The Elks Home at 42 Church Street was purchased by the Worshipers of the King Ministries – Assembly of God in 2013 (Book 61740, Page 36). It is now used as a church.

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