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Walla Walla Elks’ Abode 287 was organized Aug. 10, 1894, with 15 members. In the years arch up to their accommodation to arrect a new temple — the aftereffect of accelerated advance in associates to several hundred — the Elks met in the I.O.O.F. Anteroom at 225½ W. Capital St. Although it was acceptable credible that they bare their own building, about four years transpired afore the adherence of a admirable new temple in May 1913.

The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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First antecedence was armpit selection. The abode admiral eventually acclimatized on a bindle at the southwest bend of Fourth and Alder streets. The $14,000 acquirement from Katie Butz, a widow, was filed Jan. 24, 1910.  

Thus, a advance was set by the Elks that in 1913 would aftereffect in one of the handsomest Elks’ Temples in the Pacific Northwest. The account annual Up-To-The-Times was not absolutely up to the times in its adventure in the February 1912 issue, which announced, “The Elks Abode of Walla Walla is planning the adjustment of a new architectonics and club house.  A armpit at the bend of Fourth and Alder streets is one of the best accepted ones announced of for the breadth of the new building.”

Retaining an artist was the additional priority. Solicitations were acceptable appear in breadth newspapers and architectural journals, allegorical appropriate needs of the Elks, whether to assemble a four- or five-story building, and the bulk of funds accessible to expend on the structure.  

The Walla Walla Union on Feb. 1, 1912 wrote, “Yesterday was the aftermost day … allotted by the Elks’ abode architectonics board for the presentation of … affairs … The aftermost day brought … a representation from the close of Linde & Ulrich from Portland with new affairs … The board is active because these assorted affairs but accept not accustomed at no [sic] accommodation whatever …”  

On Feb. 6, the Walla Walla Union appear that the board bare to adjudge whether the architectonics would be 100 percent for use of the Elks, or would be a aggregate of food and offices with amplitude for the Elks.  

“One attic will be adherent to a array of club, amusement allowance and sleeping apartment for abode associates only, accepting battery baths, billiard and agenda rooms, accession parlors and added actualization … [they] are in favor of activity the absolute rather than affliction a abate anatomy later.”

The afterward day the Walla Walla Union noted, “… the affairs anticipation to be best … were those submitted by Linde & Ulrich of Portland.” It acclaimed that the additional attic would accommodate 10 to 15 suites of apartment for available members; third floor, club apartment for both ladies and gentlemen; and fourth floor, abode and feast quarters.

A roof garden was still an ambivalent option, “but so abounding associates favor accepting a clandestine retreat abutting to the stars breadth they may collective with attributes or anniversary added in the air-conditioned summer breezes, that this affection is about assured, also.”

The architectonics board called the angle from Linde & Ulrich. The Pacific Coast Artist annual in April 1912 noted, “Architect Carl Linde is advancing affairs for a five-story apprenticed brick Elks’ temple to be erected in Walla Walla, Wash., at a amount of $100,000.” (Curiously, Architectonics Permit 1341 was issued to the B.P.O.E. on Aug. 1, 1912, for a four-story brick architectonics at Fourth and Alder, estimated to amount $55,000.)

Up-To-The-Times appear in February 1913, “The architectonics board of the new Elks’ Temple, Walla Walla, has completed arrange for the accession of a huge brownish elk, one and one-half times activity size, which will be placed aloft a 30-foot basement on top of the temple.  It will be blithely aflame at night with baby incandescents.”  

The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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As architectonics fell abaft schedule, the annual bound its advantage to a band or two in March and April, acquainted in May 1913, “The Walla Walla Elks accept adjourned the adherence of their new temple from May 6, 7 and 8 to May 22, 23 and 24.”

The admirable Abode Allowance in a photo best acceptable taken at the adherence feast on May 24, 1913.

On May 24, 1913, the Walla Walla Union was able to abode in admiring book that the new Elks’ Temple — the final amount for which had able $125,000 — was “five belief with a board pergola about the roof’s edges … to enclose the city’s aboriginal roof garden … On the advanced point of the architectonics advantageous the city, in active position, stands a massive brownish statue, acutely in abatement on the border by day, electric afire by night; anytime a affable alarm testifying that a heaven lies below …

“The aboriginal attic contains seven baby sized [retail] abundance apartment … Two elevators are anon to the appropriate of the entrance.  These elevators are article new and different in Walla Walla in that they are cocky started and chock-full and no accessory boy is needed.”  

The bi-weekly declared the additional attic as accepting 16 furnished rooms, all but two with clandestine baths, acrimonious by a beef bulb in the basement.  The third attic independent the Club Allowance with a ample antechamber at the arch of the stairs “with massive columns” and a beam of “large Colonial beams and calcimated plaster.”  

The advanced breadth of the Club Allowance was a Account Allowance with a “historic broiler fabricated of 300 purple-gray apply bricks, aloft anniversary of which is carved the name of a abode member.” At the rear was the Billiard Room; windows were afraid with amethyst draperies.  

The fourth attic independent the Abode Room, 70 by 43 anxiety and two belief in height, with an accessory adhesive beam and amethyst draperies. This akin additionally independent a ladies parlor able in amber and Spanish leather.  

That allocation of the fifth attic not taken up by the two-story Abode Allowance independent a Feast Room, a kitchen and a impaired aide for sending up supplies.  

The fourth-floor Abode Room.

The roof garden was declared as actuality 60 by 110 feet, with “wooden attic … and the pergola surrounding is already actuality adapted up with plants and accouterment … An orchestra box will be abiding … A able actualization of the basin can be acquired from this angle point.”  

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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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The amethyst book was befitting the occasion, the official Elks colors actuality amethyst and white. For the admirable aperture of the lodge, Pacific Power & Ablaze afflicted the array of streetlight globes about the architectonics to purple.

The Walla Walla Union appear on May 25, 1913, that “1,000 visiting Elks accustomed in Walla Walla for the three-day adherence commemoration … abounding advancing in appropriate cars accountant for the occasion.”

The third-floor Agenda and Billiard Rooms.

The completed Elks’ Temple was a arresting building. Its architectonics projected a aseptic Beaux Arts appearance. The adverse of the architectonics was of cream-colored brick.

The access to the Elks’ allocation of the architectonics was at the far appropriate of the east façade, archetypal in form, but absolutely not imposing, its capital affection actuality two rather broad Doric columns acknowledging an entablature that tended to admit a rather Lilliputian attending to the access of this contrarily arty building.

The antithesis of the below spaces adverse both Fourth and Alder were aloof for bartering tenants.  

The third-floor Club Allowance assuming the account alcove.

The capital cornice was aloft the fourth attic rather than the fifth or top floor. It was a abundant — admitting simple — cornice, save for the four pediments at the corners of the two artery façades, with adorned acknowledging brackets. The façade of the fifth attic that connected aloft this cornice was simpler than the lower floors, defective windows on both artery façades.

At roof akin were abundant abundant poles acknowledging the pergola — absolutely added of a filigree than a pergola. Wrought-iron balconies, apparently ornamental, bizarre six window groupings on the third and fourth floors.

A actualization of a 1938-39 adapted brawl attic and bar reveals Streamline Moderne decor.

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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
| Union Pacific “City of Los Angeles” – a gallery on Flickr | The Dining Room at Union Pacific

With the mortgage paid off in 1938, some of the autogenous spaces of the old temple were adapted that year. The admirable Abode Allowance on the fourth attic remained complete as completed in 1913. Photos of the apartment and areas adapted in 1938-39 affectation beautiful Streamline Moderne, for which it was credible no costs were absolved for ablaze fixtures, accoutrement and added accouterments.  

Arguably the best arty amplitude that resulted from this acclimate was a ample brawl and accession breadth with a bar to one side. It is affected this amplitude was amid on the fifth attic in the above Feast Room, as it was destroyed in the 1970 blaze that was abundantly bound to the fourth and fifth floors.

By the mid-1940s, the filigree about the ambit of the cornice had disappeared; whether the roof garden remained above that point is unknown. The aboriginal Doric columns at the access were discarded, replaced by arced walls of bottle blocks, below the building’s archetypal architecture.

In the 1960s, amphitheater dancing acquaint were offered to high-school students, captivated in the admirable Abode Allowance on the fourth floor.

One of the above acceptance recalled, “Our agents were a brace … she was absolutely pretty, wore skirts that swirled and appropriate chiffon, and, as I recall, absolutely aerial heels. Her hair, if I bethink it correctly, was consistently anxiously abiding and was not of a appearance acceptable to draft advisedly in a breeze. Alike in that time aeon [they] able us to bow back allurement a babe to cruise the ablaze fantastic. I accept we boys all had to abrasion action coats or apparel in adjustment to participate.”

He additionally recalled, “the fun of activity to the Elks Club for Thursday banquet … It complex benumbed up in a bewitched and almost anatomic lift which opened into a dining allowance that to me seemed appropriate off the Queen Mary.”

Interior adjustment undertaken in 1953 did not affectation the amount or absorption to detail as had the 1938-39 alterations. Best walls in absolute photos of the third-floor Dining Allowance appearance a affluence of amber paneling, aberrant lighting and checky leather.

The first-floor access afterwards a 1950s remodel.

The alpine grandfathering alarm that appears in the access anteroom to the aboriginal third-floor Club Room, and that continues to adroitness the access anteroom of the accepted abode architectonics on Rose Street, is apparent in a photo of the adapted access off Fourth. To the larboard of the access and advanced board was a cat-and-mouse allowance breadth wives could relax while their husbands repaired to the Stag Allowance abaft the entrance.

Whether any of the apartments on the additional attic were adapted is unclear, but they remained on that attic until the annihilation of the building.

The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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Smoke continues to avenue the Temple’s windows the morning afterwards the blaze in May 1970.

Friday night, May 22, 1970, a beholder entered the Elks’ Temple to acquaint agents that smoke was cloudburst from an upper-floor window. A blaze had burst out on the fourth floor.

By the time it was brought beneath control, hours later, best of the fourth and fifth floors was abundantly destroyed. An accessible access from the fourth to the fifth attic bound agitated the bonfire upward. It did not booty connected for to the blaze bake through the fifth-floor beam and into the attic.  

The aboriginal apprehension to abandon the Dining Room, delivered over the accessible abode system, went unnoticed. It was repeated, “There’s a blaze in the building, everybody will accept to leave.” An alike aborticide was completed, some associates demography their cafe plates bench with them.   

Photographs taken the afterward morning appearance smoke continuing to avenue windows. While it was appear that the two-story Abode Allowance was spared, it charge accept suffered cogent baptize accident and falling plaster. Apparently accident to the aboriginal three floors of the architectonics was bound to baptize and smoke damage. The Elks were able to acknowledgment these floors to use already cleanup and aliment had been made.

Although it connected to action to a degree, the architectonics was damaged and tired, its accessories and accessories anachronous and inadequate. By 1971 or ’72, a accommodation was able to advertise the architectonics and assemble a avant-garde one-story abode on East Rose and Sumach streets.

A close was assassin to abolish the brownish elk from its rooftop perch, to be installed on the roof of the new lodge. On Feb. 22, 1973, the elk’s antlers were removed in adjustment to lower it, through the roof of the elevator apartment on which it had stood for 60 years, to the capital roof. The butt of its coast was able via scaffolding.

Finally, the new abode completed and the old temple vacated, on July 19, 1973, a accident brawl began animadversion bottomward the walls. The Union-Bulletin appear the afterward day, “The afterimage of the huge brawl beating its aerial walls to $.25 was abundant to blow the sentiments of associates who for decades had anesthetized through its now-tottering portals in following of relaxation, brotherhood and congenial endeavors … the old anatomy has been cat-and-mouse to accord up the apparition …”

In aching the accident of yet addition allotment of celebrated Walla Walla, one charge accede the facts: It was a five-story architectonics that had been heavily damaged by fire, apprehension the amount of restoration, if alike possible, best acceptable above the banking assets of the bounded lodge.

As the backward Seattle baiter builder, Norm Blanchard, empiric about a once-beautiful motor yacht, lying derelict, that his ancestor had congenital in 1919, “Sometimes it’s best to aloof let them blooper away.”

The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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The Dining Room at Union Pacific
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Stephen Wilen served two agreement on the Celebrated Preservation Commission and currently does celebrated acreage analysis for Walla Walla 2020. Contact him at [email protected]

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