Odd Fellows Hall
300, Cathedral St. & 100 Saratoga St., W., Baltimore, Baltimore City
This building has two major façades, on Saratoga and Cathedral Streets. The Saratoga elevation has five bays with a central arched entrance with brownstone Romanesque columns and architraves. The windows in the flanking bays have 8/12 sash, stone sills, and gauged flat arches. The windows of the stone basement level have iron bars. A belt course of brownstone separates the first and second stories. The windows of the upper floors are similar to the first floor except for a central bay which has four 4/6 arched windows on the second floor, a tripartite window on the third and fourth floors, and a band course along the lintels of the fourth floors. Brick recessed panels are between the third and fourth stories. The Cathedral Street elevation is dominated by a two-story projecting entrance with a brownstone arch. An irregular fenestration pattern on this façade features the same window treatment as on the Saratoga façade. The archway is in the northernmost bay of the five on this elevation. Adjoining the building on the north is a three-story, three-bay section which was altered in 1931 and has a brownstone entrance. The entrance formerly had a marquee but now has a modern glass and steel door. A cornerstone at the northeast corner reads, "I.O.O.F. 1891, 1931".
The Odd Fellows Hall is a notable version of the Romanesque Revival style which displays a high level of brickmasonry craftsmanship. A late 1970s adaptive re-use project retained most of its exterior architectural character while providing modern office space in the renovated interior. The building is also significant as the second home of the International Order of Odd Fellows in America. The IOOF was founded by Thomas Wildey in 1819 in Baltimore. The first Lodge was on Gay Street near Fayette, built in 1830. When the Order outgrew that building, the present Hall was built in 1890-91. During World War II, the U.S.O. occupied the northern section of the Hall and, with a short break between 1945 and 1951, remained at that location until 1975.