photo by Ryan Hamlett
This flat-iron shaped, brick and terra-cotta edifice at 5515 E. Washington St. exhibits the ominous lodge number 666, a fact made that much more interesting in that the building, currently houses a church on its uppermost floor.
Its foundation and cornerstone were laid 1921 and the building was completed the following year. As with many Masonic Lodges, the ground floor was designed with storefronts so that the lodge could reap rental income to support itself. Until 1950, Lodge #666 was home to the Irvington Post Office. It was rumored to be the home to secret Klu Klux Klan meetings in the ’20s (Indiana grand dragon D.C. Stephenson’s mansion was a few blocks away on University Ave.) and home to a few mischievous things that go bump in the night, but the Lodge’s official tenants are currently Lodge Design, Mosaic Church, Mystique Theater and Bookmamas Bookstore.
According to different sources, its architect is either a Charles Bacon or Henry Bacon, architect most famous for designing the Lincoln Memorial. My sense is that it’s likely the former, a fact I’ll know for sure and report on upon a visit tomorrow to the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, former home to Butler University, current home to the Irvington Historical Society and Museum and site of a future Room with a View.