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Located just north of DuBois, the Kollár Z.C.B.J. Hall sits on a two-acre site. It was designed and built in 1920–1921 by members of the Kollár Lodge, with work supervised by mason Frank Daniel and carpenter Morris Hartung. The hall is a modest version of the Baroque Revival style, and features a stucco facade with a central lunette and a distinctive “rounded” profile. Rectilinear in plan, with five bays on the east and west sides and three bays on the north and south side, the single-story building is constructed with brick and hollow clay tile. Double doors lead to a vestibule where a small kitchen, cloak room, and ticket window are located under a balcony that overlooks the main hall. Passing through a second set of double doors, the hall is oriented north towards a raised stage with a wood proscenium arch. Illuminated by punched windows on three sides, the simple interior of the auditorium is articulated by a pressed-metal ceiling, hardwood floors, and built-in benches with a slightly raised floor along the perimeter. This auditorium is used primarily for performances.
The building functioned as an important social hall and expression of a substantial Czech-American community in the Big Nemaha Basin in southeast Nebraska that began in the 1850s. Stemming from the mid-nineteenth-century Romantic movement in their homeland, Česko Slovenský Podporující Spolek (Č.S.P.S.), the earliest Czech fraternal organization on the Great Plains, was a proponent of Czech freethought. The Západní Česko Bratrské Jednota (Z.Č.B.J.) or Western Bohemian Fraternal Association broke away and was founded in Nebraska in 1897. Though lodge membership has diminished in recent years, Z.C.B.J. continues to be the largest of 50 active Czech fraternal organizations in Nebraska. The public can enter the hall during one of the social events held there.
Murphy, David, “Rád Jan Kollár čis 101 Z.Č.B.J.,” Pawnee, Nebraska. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1989. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.
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