Cowtown Yoostabes, Secret Handshake Edition: Welcome to the Hall, Y’all

These buildings yoostabe lodge halls (read about the golden age of fraternal lodges):

building pythias wideKnights of Pythias lodge hall (Sanguinet and Staats, 1901) at 315 Main Street downtown.

building pythias originalThe 1901 Knights of Pythias lodge hall replaced one built in 1881. Note the suit of armor in the niche of the corner of the third story. The current suit is a replica.

building magnolia center 1925Magnolia Centre (1925) on Magnolia Avenue yoostabe a Masonic lodge and then an Odd Fellows lodge. Architect was James Black Davies Sr.

lodge berry masonsHemphill Heights Masonic lodge building(1939) on West Berry Street.

lodge locomotive engineersLodge hall (c. 1910) of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen at 211 Bryan Street on the near South Side.

A railroad hub like Fort Worth had several railroad organizations, some of which met at the Bryan Street hall.

building stockyards lodge 1244

The United Packing House Workers of America local, the Livestock Handlers local, and Stockyards Masonic lodge 1244, chartered in 1927, met in this building (c. 1910) at 2408 North Main Street.

building cadillacIn 1935 Stockyards Masonic lodge 1244 moved to this building (c. 1908) on West Exchange Avenue.

The downtown YWCA was built in 1928 as an Elks lodge hall. Wyatt Hedrick was the architect. In 1955 the Elks moved to the William J. Bailey house on White Settlement Road.

The opening of the new Elks lodge hall was front-page news.

elks-clubThe Elks’ previous lodge hall was at the corner of Lamar and West 7th streets.

east key of the westThis is the Knights of Pythias hall you might not know about. The Key West lodge of the Knights of Pythias was an African-American lodge that met in this 1925 building on East 2nd Street in the African-American downtown. The lodge met upstairs in an auditorium and rented the first-floor space. Over the years the first floor housed a tailor shop, barber shop, beauty shop, and restaurant. The lodge closed in the late 1940s. The building now houses apartments.

On Forrest Street in Handley, this 1928 building was a Masonic hall and then an Odd Fellows hall.

lodge poly masonFormer home of Polytechnic Masonic lodge 925 on Thrall Street.

lodge riverside OF 1194In the early 1940s this building on Riverside Drive housed Odd Fellows lodge 1194.

And this 1925 building at 415 East 6th Street yoostabe the lodge hall of the African-American Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. The three-link chain is the order’s symbol. At one time the three links on the cornice may have contained the letters F, L, and T standing for Friendship, Love, and Truth. In recent years the building housed an architectural firm and a public relations firm.

Apparently the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows or some other African-American organization had a building at 415 East 6th before the 1925 building was built because an African-American YWCA met there in 1921.

That’s all the halls, y’all.

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6 Responses to Cowtown Yoostabes, Secret Handshake Edition: Welcome to the Hall, Y’all

  1. earl belcher says:

    The first pic of the Pythias lodge. This building is a replica. The other was torn down in the Bass urban renewal craze of the 1980s.

    • hometown says:

      Two sources I rely on use the “re” but not the “plica.” Fort Worth Forum calls the building a “restoration.” Tarrant County Historical Resources Survey calls the building a “rehabilitation.” Both sources give the building the dates of the 1901 construction and the 1981-1982 restoration/rehabilitation. The 1901 cornerstone is in the south wall.

  2. My husband’s grandmother used to live next door to the old Masonic lodge on Forrest Street. The photo of the lodge still shows a tiny bit of her front porch. That house was originally a one room school building that was moved from somewhere near what is now the bottom of Lake Arlington to the Forrest Street location. Unfortunately, the lovely old home was torn down to make room for FWISD needs.

    • hometown says:

      And I think that in the 1930s my mother attended the Handley school that was torn down for the new FWISD school there.

  3. Janna Rivera says:

    The Knights of Phythias Building is across the street from my office and is about to be renovated and turned into apartments. I am going to manage them.

    • hometown says:

      I had heard that something was afoot there. So glad that yet another vintage building is being saved and restored.

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