|Address:||114 South Main Street|
|Original Owner:||I.O.O.F. Lodge #316|
This fine Italianate commercial building was likely constructed a few years before Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Quindaro Lodge was officially dedicated at this site in 1859, two years after the lodge was initiated on June 9, 1857. The Odd Fellows made their first appearance in Ohio on December 23, 1839, when the Ohio Lodge No. 1 was created in Cincinnati, a mere twenty years after the initial North American founding in 1819. It took a trifling thirteen years to establish a lodge in Mount Vernon, the Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 20, which shared a hall located in the Kremlin/Cooper Building with other benevolent societies throughout the city. The Quindaro Lodge had its own hall in this building, which was occupied by C. A. Bope's hardware store on the ground level. The Lodge began by renting the space, but ended up purchasing the entire building from James W. Miller to have full private access to the hall. The I.O.O.F. became the first national fraternity in the United States to include women among their membership on September 20, 1851. The women became known as Rebekahs, while the men remained Odd Fellows. Mount Vernon included women in their membership with the institution of Knox Rebekah No. 21 on May 21, 1880. The signage above the entrance to the lodge still advertises the Odd Fellows and Rebekah Hall, which is located on the spacious 3rd floor. The Quindaro Lodge ultimately absorbed all of the Odd Fellows lodges in the Knox County area, the Sycamore Lodge of Brandon being the last in 1968. The Knox County Renaissance Foundation purchased the building from the I.O.O.F. in 2009, becoming only the third owner of the property in 150 years.
A soaring three stories, this building possesses several elements that make it stand out among the other Italianate structures in the district. All of the windows have decorative pressed-metal hoodmolds. The 3rd-story windows stretch nearly twice the height of the 2nd-story windows, giving this building a very distinct appearance. The wide wooden cornice has thin, narrow brackets with the three-link chain on both sides, used by the I.O.O.F. to symbolize Friendship, Love, and Truth. At one time two spires projected from either end of the cornice, but have since been removed. Much of the original storefront, currently occupied by Williams Flower Shop, remains intact, including cast-iron pilasters with Corinthian capitals, and transoms over the display windows and entrance. The transom over the door has been filled with stained glass. The Lodge entrance is located in the left north corner of this building. In addition to providing access to the 2nd and 3rd stories of the I.O.O.F. building, this entrance serves as a shared hallway to the upper-level apartments located in the adjacent Adam Pyle Building. At one time, based on historic photographs and scars in the brick, this large entrance was left exposed to the elements.