The Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge facing the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Medford, Ore., is a good example of Beaux Arts architecture.
The three-story, white-brick building, built by R. I. Stuart in 1913, was designed by Frank C. Clark, a charter member of the Elks and the first professionally trained architect to live in the Rogue Valley.
Medford’s original 43 Elk members had received their initiation in lodges elsewhere in the United States, so they wanted to have a lodge of their own. The original building permit listed the price at $35,000.
Completed in 1915, the design included classic columns, curved steps, a clock tower crowned by a wreath-frame clock, a lodge room, ladies’ parlor, billiard rooms with acoustic ceilings and maple floors, a fireplace, and a large basement. The club added a dining room addition in 1921 and other improvements over the next 100 years.
The building represented a time when architecture, citizen organizations and gathering places were valued community assets, and it was considered the best-planned building of its kind on the coast. The National Register of Historic Places added the building to its list in 1981.
Sources: Ness, Lydia. "Medford Elks Building." Restore Oregon, Restore Oregon, 2017, restoreoregon.org/medford-elks-buil. Accessed 10 Aug. 2017; Evans, Gail E. "Survey of and Cultural Resources City of Medford." City of Medford, Oregon-Oregon Archaeological Services, May 1982, heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=main.load. Accessed 10 Aug. 2017; "BPOE Lodge #1158." My Southern Oregon History Pages-InfoStructure, edited by Tina Truwe, Mail Tribune, 1900s, id.mind.net/~truwe/tina/s.o.history.html. Accessed 10 Aug. 2017.