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Proposed Elks Hall

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E.) announced in 1927 that they had acquired a property on the south west corner of Sandwich Street (Riverside Drive West) & Park Place (Randolph). The ambitious plans for the building were drawn up by Detroit architect Ben Dore, who was associated with C. Howard Crane’s firm. The building was planned to be built by 1928, with the goal of attracting the annual convention of the B.P.O.E of Canada and Newfoundland.

The main tower of the clubhouse was planned for 11 storey, with all rooms to be devoted to living quarters for members. The second seven storey tower was also to contain living quarters above the second floor. The first two floors were planned to contain club rooms and lounges, restaurants and a banquet hall. A grill and large swimming pool were planned for the basement. A loggia overlooking the Detroit river was also accounted for. The planned building was going to be clad in either stucco or Indiana Limestone. The project was planned to cost $750,000 (about $11.5 million today). The capital to erect the building was planned to be raised through the sale of club memberships. The site comprised of 392 feet of river frontage on the north side of Riverside Drive, and a lot 145 feet square at the south west corner of Riverside and Randolph.

The rooms of the club were to be laid out on various levels all having views of the river. The main building was designed to be 68 by 84 feet, with the longer side facing the river. A two storey building would form the base of the building with a seven storey tower rising out of it, with another 11 storey tower rising at the rear.

The main floor was to house a spacious lounge, lobby, billiards room, ladies’ lounge, main restaurant and kitchens. A few steps down would lead to the men’s grill in the basement, along with the locker rooms and a swimming pool. The showers, dressing and drying rooms for both men and women would also be located on this level. A sub basement below that was to be used for storage as well as the boiler for heating the complex. Above the lobby, there was to be a mezzanine level, on this level was to be located the main banquet hall and a ballroom. A large loggia overlooking the Detroit river. Six private dining rooms were also planned for this level.

The towers were to be accessed by elevators, and would contain over 100 bedrooms. They were designed to be adjoining as to make larger suites, if needed. Each room would contain a bath.

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  • JM on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Here are a few details dealing with the environs of the Sandwich East Township Hall. In the later part of…Nov 27, 14:36
  • don bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “More of my story about Sandwich East twp hall. I lived in that neighbourhood during the 1950s….Many of the people…Nov 26, 17:31
  • Richard McIntyre on Chatham Street East – 1976: “This was originaly Vexlers Clothing store in fifties and early sixties.Canada Salvage was originaly on Pitt St. or Riverside Dr.…Nov 24, 14:07
  • derek on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Awesome stories Don! You definitely didn’t bore, I love hearing about the cities history, I hope you share some more…Nov 19, 10:26
  • Don Bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Sure. I will talk some more about the neighbourhood around Sandwich East Township Hall – back in the 1950’s when…Nov 16, 13:21

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