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Independent Order of Odd Fellows
El Paso, Texas

Description: Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I. O. O. F.) Lodge No. 284
Other Names: Catholic United Service Organizations (U. S. O.) during World War II
Address: West Franklin and North Santa Fe Streets, El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
Type: fraternal: lodge
Original Client: International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 284
Date: 1916
Condition: demolished

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Trost & Trost
Contractors: George B. Bosco
Dimensions and Orientation: two stories with elevated basement; faced east toward Cleveland Square
Budget/Cost: $30,000

Foundation: stone
Wall Materials: brick
Roofing Materials: flat
Other Materials Used: cast stone ornament; wood and steel in interior

Location of Drawings: El Paso Public Library: Ponsford 307, photograph of a rendering, perspective view, Union Station visible on far left; Bradt 112, postcard of the same; (N-75) miscellaneous blueprints, including 8 unsigned, undated blueprints for a six story version of the Odd Fellows building, with basement and rooftop gallery (some rooms labeled, e. g., Blue No 1 and Commander Hall)
Location of Documentary Photographs: El Paso Public Library: Aultman A5026, perspective view, Union Station visible on far left; 87/0097, fa├žade viewed from the park

Bibliography: (1) American Architect and Building News, volume XC, number 1570 (January 27, 1906), Building News Section, page xii: El Paso, Tex. The Odd Fellows of this city propose to consolidate, and in this connection it is proposed to erect a handsome lodge building.
Estimated cost $60,000.
(2) El Paso Herald, March 1, 1916, page 12
(3) El Paso Leads Southwest as City of Strong Secret Orders, El Paso Herald, August 26, 1916, Home Beautiful Section, page 14 (description, architects and principal contractor named, photograph of nearly completed building)
(4) Fraternity Homes Well Represented Here, El Paso Herald, January 28, 1922, page 4 A (photograph of central portion of facade)
(5) Lloyd C. Engelbrecht, Henry Trost: the Prairie School in the Southwest, The Prairie School Review, volume VI, number 4 (Fourth Quarter, 1969), page 28 (brief mention and critical appraisal of 1916 building)
(6) El Paso Herald, June 3, 1916 page 9 construction progressing satisfactorily

Remarks: The blue prints in N-75 appear to be for a 6 story building along the lines of the 1906 proposal with a budget of $60,000, twice the budget of the 1916 building. Since the 1916 building was for Lodge 284, it may be that the 1906 plans would have meant a larger building for all of the Odd Fellows lodges in El Paso.

Since Trost& Trost were not mentioned in the published report on the 1906 proposal, and since the existing blue prints (N-75) of the 6 story version of the Odd Fellows building are unsigned, it may be that the 1916 commission to Trost & Trost was for adapting an existing design by another architect. No other designs by Henry Trost or by the firm of Trost & Trost, for projects or completed buildings, resemble the Odd Fellows building. Moreover, client input may have played a role in the appearance of the building; Bibliography item 3, above, includes this passage: Judge Frank E. Hunter, chairman of the building committee of the lodge, has assisted in the building plans, and has spent many years in efforts to erect a permanent home for his lodge

Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990