Organized in 1901, the Kenosha lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks built this impressive clubhouse. Milwaukee-based architect Messmer was an Elk, and Elks pride themselves on their conviviality. But this Georgian Revival clubhouse is sober, even stately, in its horizontally emphatic, symmetrical design. Some of this sober quality comes from the classically inspired brickwork: rusticated on the ground floor, voussoirs over the rectangular entrances, and quoins in the second and third stories. But the building’s most stately element is its grand portico, centered on the facade. Stocky brick piers on the first story give way to widely spaced Tuscan columns gracing a two-story open gallery. Behind the columns, generous windows with fanlights recede between brick pilasters. The building burned in 2011 but will be rehabilitated into a hotel, restaurant, pub, and ballroom.
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