The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters

(11)

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters A monument in the truest sense, the Elks National Memorial was built in 1926 to honor Americans whose profound sacrifices for the nation can never be recognized by mere words. With its massive dome, heroic sculptures and intricately detailed friezes, the Memorial is a distinctively American interpretation of classical greatness. The Elks National Memorial is a Memorial to Peace, and the hope for Peace. We recognize the Fallen who have perished in the fight against injustice.

If you've ever wondered what happens when the rope breaks:
09/20/2019

If you've ever wondered what happens when the rope breaks:

The Eagle has landed!  Original Eagle finial from the top of one of the original flagpoles, flagpoles were replaced in 1...
09/20/2019

The Eagle has landed! Original Eagle finial from the top of one of the original flagpoles, flagpoles were replaced in 1976. Only one of the eagles remain, this was expertly cleaned and conserved last year.

Conservation of original Flagpole Eagle Finial, Solid Bronze
03/14/2019

Conservation of original Flagpole Eagle Finial, Solid Bronze

This one is a little earlier, 1924 Huntington Park Elks.  Caption from original source reads: "Tournament of Roses, 1924...
03/12/2019

This one is a little earlier, 1924 Huntington Park Elks. Caption from original source reads: "Tournament of Roses, 1924, Tournament of Roses parade float with elks, a boy in elks attire, other children in costume, and with two male outwalkers in elks attire, sponsored by the Huntington Park Lodge #1415, prize winner Tournament of Roses"

Unfortunate accident over the winter...
03/12/2019

Unfortunate accident over the winter...

Conservation of original Flagpole Eagle Finial, Solid Bronze
03/12/2019

Conservation of original Flagpole Eagle Finial, Solid Bronze

Opening for the season, Monday April 15 at noon.  Hope to see you there!
03/12/2019

Opening for the season, Monday April 15 at noon. Hope to see you there!

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration
10/22/2018

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration
08/30/2018

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration

Elks National Memorial and Headquarters 2018 Terrace Paver restoration

Please pardon the dust - the main terrace area, which has served the Memorial faithfully for the last 92+ years, is in n...
08/30/2018

Please pardon the dust - the main terrace area, which has served the Memorial faithfully for the last 92+ years, is in need of refurbishment. Nothing lasts forever, and the weather has taken its toll on the stone and the underlying structure.

Working on the lighting for displays over the winter - a lot of historical Elks memorabilia to go through
04/03/2018

Working on the lighting for displays over the winter - a lot of historical Elks memorabilia to go through

04/03/2018

The Elks National Memorial will be opening for the season (for public touring) on Monday, April 16, at noon. Our regular hours will be Monday - Saturday, noon until 4PM. Please arrive by 3:30 to allow time for touring the premises. Tours are "self guided" - there are brochures and other materials available with descriptions of the various artworks, the meaning behind the allegory, and the history of the building. Tour groups may be accommodated with a guided tour (subject to availability of personnel), please call 773-755-4876 to arrange with the Memorial Staff.

11/07/2017

The Elks National Memorial will be closing for the season (for public touring) on Friday, November 17.

It's that time of year again, time for Open House Chicago!  This year we are front page headliners!
09/12/2017

It's that time of year again, time for Open House Chicago! This year we are front page headliners!

It's that time of year again, time for Open House Chicago!  This year we are front page!
09/12/2017

It's that time of year again, time for Open House Chicago! This year we are front page!

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters's cover photo
04/21/2017

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters's cover photo

Conservation of large lanterns at main entry
04/11/2017

Conservation of large lanterns at main entry

Conservation of monumental bronze flagpole bases by Jane Foley, Maria Paras, Dorota Bobek and Inez Litas
04/11/2017

Conservation of monumental bronze flagpole bases by Jane Foley, Maria Paras, Dorota Bobek and Inez Litas

Conservation of monumental bronze flagpole bases by Jane Foley, Maria Paras, Dorota Bobek and Inez Litas

Courtyard lantern conservation
04/11/2017

Courtyard lantern conservation

Courtyard lantern conservation
04/07/2017

Courtyard lantern conservation

The courtyard lanterns have been re-installed.  After some days of searching, we were unable to locate the buried (in co...
04/07/2017

The courtyard lanterns have been re-installed. After some days of searching, we were unable to locate the buried (in concrete, behind the limestone and marble) conduit that ran from these to ?? so it was impossible to get power ran back to them. But I think the conservators did a great job in restoring these! The colors were determined through microscopic analysis performed at the McCrone Group facilities, and matched through a Pantone color chart.

Conservation of main entry doors
01/18/2017

Conservation of main entry doors

Wrapping up the front doors, beautiful work, incredible detail!
01/18/2017

Wrapping up the front doors, beautiful work, incredible detail!

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters's cover photo
11/30/2016

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters's cover photo

Contrast before and after removal of previously applied "finish"
11/29/2016

Contrast before and after removal of previously applied "finish"

Conservation of main entry doors
11/29/2016

Conservation of main entry doors

Work begins - conserving the main bronze doors, removal of paint, corrosion and dirt.
11/29/2016

Work begins - conserving the main bronze doors, removal of paint, corrosion and dirt.

11/04/2016

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters Building will be closing to the public after November 11, 2016, and re-open April 17, 2017

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters
10/31/2016

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters
10/31/2016

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

This sculpture is called 'Reclining Elk', done by Laura Gardin Fraser. There are two, one on each side of the sidewalk as you approach the building.

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

According to the guide which was handed out at the memorial:
the building was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome as well as the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. The height of the rotunda is 94 feet.The cost was $3.5 million when completely furnished (1931). The building is made of limestone, quarried near Bloomington, Indiana.

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

I tried to do a panorama of the rotunda. That rotunda containes 26 varieties of marble from around the world.

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

Even the lighting fixtures are beautifully and intricately sculpted.

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

The art glass windows were created by Wm. Francklyn Paris and Frederick J. Wiley Associated, New York.

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

just another beautiful eye-catching view

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

There are four gold statues in the rotunda; they depict the four cardinal virtues of Elkdom: Charity, Brotherly Love, Fidelity (pictured here), and Justice. Their creator was James Earle Fraser. He is best known for his sculpture "End of the Trail" and also for designing the Indian Head (Buffalo) nickel. Who'd have thought!

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

More eye candy

The Adventures of Go-Butt
10/18/2016

The Adventures of Go-Butt

The murals you see along the bottom of the picture depict allegorical images of the Beatitudes. They were done by Eugene Savage.

Photography by Shama
10/16/2016

Photography by Shama

#OHC2016

B.P.O.Elks #921
10/16/2016

B.P.O.Elks #921

The Elks Veterans Memorial is a tribute to the bravery, loyalty and dedication of the thousands of Elks who have fought and died for our country. It has been described as one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world, but with its monumental architecture and priceless art, the Memorial is more a symbol of peace and of the patriotism of the members of the Elks fraternity. Following World War I, there was a strong desire throughout the Elks organization to erect a fitting memorial to those brothers who had laid down their lives in the name of loyal patriotism and devotion to country which they had assumed at their fraternal altars. At the Grand Lodge session convened in Chicago in 1920, a special committee was created and assigned with the task of planning the design and construction of this new memorial. The Commission invited seven of the country's most distinguished architects to participate in a competition that would determine the design of the new building.

After careful consideration the Commission unanimously decided on a design created by New York architect Egerton Swarthout. Swarthout's design was selected over the competition because it was the most beautifully distinctive, while still fulfilling its practical purpose as both a memorial to fallen Elks and a national headquarters for the organization. After an exhaustive search for the most qualified builder, the Commission entrusted New York's Hegeman-Harris Company with the task of building a monument that would inspire Elks and captivate the public. Construction of the Elks Veterans Memorial began in 1923, after the Order unanimously agreed on a spacious site for the building, looking out over Chicago's Lincoln Park and within a stone's throw of Lake Michigan. The Elks War Relief Commission, which was put in charge of finding the site and supervising the building's construction, wrote in its 1921 recommendation to the Grand Lodge that: “The suggested building be made definitely monumental and memorial in character; that the architectural design be so stately and beautiful, the material of its construction so enduring, its site and setting so appropriate...that the attention of all beholders will be arrested, and the heart of every Elk who contemplates it will be thrilled with pride, and that it will for generations to come prove an inspiration to that loyalty and patriotism which the Order so earnestly teaches and has so worthily exemplified.”

Workers laid the memorial's cornerstone on June 7, 1924 amid impressive ceremonies conducted by officers from the Grand Lodge. Two years later, on July 14, 1926, the Annual Convention of the Order was held in Chicago and the building was officially dedicated to the memory of the more than one thousand Elks lost in World War I in front of a massive crowd of Elks and their families that stretched across the street and into the park.

South Bend Elks 235
10/16/2016

South Bend Elks 235

Join your fellow Elks on this fun filled day bus trip to see the beautiful Elks National Memorial & Headquarters Building in Chicago. Then onto the dinner theater show at the famous Tommy Guns Garage Dinner Show/Bar. Saturday, Oct. 25. The bus leaves the Elks at noon and returns at midnight. Guaranteed reservations must be made & paid by Sept. 25. See or call Charley Parrott for info: 574 276 3834.

Address

2750 N Lakeview Ave
Chicago, IL
60614

General information

The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters is open to the public mid-April through mid-November.

Opening Hours

Monday 12:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 12:00 - 16:00
Thursday 12:00 - 16:00
Friday 12:00 - 16:00
Saturday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(773) 755-4876

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Elks National Memorial and Headquarters:

Nearby museums


Other History Museums in Chicago

Show All