Preservation, Road Trips

Burned Elks Lodge in Madison, Indiana, sees first hope for restoration in 11 years

Eleven years is a mighty long time for a burned-out building to stand — especially in Madison, Indiana, which is well known for preserving its historic architecture. Yet the 1904 Elks lodge has stood virtually untouched for years after a 2006 arson gutted it. Here’s what it looked like when I first saw it in 2008:

Burned BPOE

It stands on West Street, just three blocks north of where the historic Michigan Road begins and a block north of Madison’s beautiful and historic main street. Things were little changed when I visited again a year later:

BPOE

I haven’t been to Madison in a few years, but a check of Google Street View (here) reveals that a little work has been done on the building, including putting on a roof. And now Indiana Landmarks reports (here) that a Madison couple is interested in rebuilding the lodge to be luxury apartments. Here’s hoping they see their project through. Maybe next time I visit, I’ll come back with cheerier photos to share of this great old building!

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6 thoughts on “Burned Elks Lodge in Madison, Indiana, sees first hope for restoration in 11 years

  1. Roger Meade says:

    This building looks like an original Elks “Temple”. There is a similar one still active in Manistique, MI, a former lumbering port town on Lake Michigan in Michigan’s upper Peninsula. I think there are a few others around the country also still in use as Elks Lodges. Like other civic and fraternal organizations, the Elks have difficulty attaracting new, younger members to help with their civic and charitable works.I looked at the website of the Madison Elks Lodge and it looks like a very active Lodge with a nice building, so maybe they outgrew the old building at some point. I hope you keep us posted on any progress toward restoration.

    • Ooo, I didn’t know “Elks Temple” was a thing. Now I’ll be on the lookout! I think the Madison Elks met here until the fire and moved elsewhere after. I’m sure I’ll be in Madison again one day and will be sure to stop and photograph progress on the building.

  2. analogphotobug says:

    We run into a lot of Elks Temples, Masonic Temples and other lodges when we visit old west ghost towns.

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