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Key Number: HS 5842
Site Name: Orange Hall
Other Names: Loyal Orange Hall #1654 of Edmonton
Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654
Strathcona Orange Hall
The Loyal Orange Hall
Site Type: 0202 - Social and Recreational: Club or Lodge


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4

Address: 10335 - 84 Avenue NW
Number: 35
Street: 103 NW
Avenue: 84 NW
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular Short Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 1
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Brick
Superstructure: Nailed Frame
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: High Gable
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: None
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 1 Bay
Wall Design and Detail: Corner Board
Wall Design and Detail: String or Belt Course
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Fascia
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Soffit
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Frieze
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Wood
Roof Trim - Verges: Plain Fascia
Roof Trim - Verges: Plain Soffit
Roof Trim - Verges: Plain Frieze
Roof Trim Material - Verges: Wood
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Centre
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Entablature
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Wood
Window - Sill Type: Plain Lug Sill
Window - Sill Material: Wood
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Window - Special Types: None
Main Entrance - Location: Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: None
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: None
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: Not Applicable
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Vertical Board
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Open Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: Closed Porch
Main Porch - Material: Wood
Main Porch - Height: First Storey
Exterior: Enclosed porch (entrance), 2 brick chimney stacks, sash windows.
Interior: Hall has hardwood flooring, wainscotting; a stage with a podium and carved wooden arch.
Environment: Neighbourhood: Strathcona Property Features: None Old Strathcona Preservation area
Condition: Good
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Roof Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: Chimney Site: Original Closed-in porch.


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
Fraternal Order
Set for documentary on the life of Emily Murphy.

Owner: Owner Date:
A. Nanton & J. Munson
Trustees of Loyal Orange Lodge
J. Carmichael & J. Shi...
Loyal Orange Lodge #1654
Strathcona Order Lodge
Architect: N/A
Builder: Orange Order
Craftsman: N/A
History: 1st Worshipable Master was Mr. Robert McKernan 1903 - March 28 Owner: Nanton and Munson 1919 - September 29 Owner: Loyal Orange Lodge # 1654 1974 - Owner: Strathcona Orange Lodge 1980 - Plaindealer Present Owner - Strathcona Orange Lodge

Loyal Orange Order, Chapter 1164 purchased the lot in 1903, and built the lodge itself. Prominent members included R.W. Pettipiece and Robert Mckernan. In recent years the lodge was used as the South Side Folk Club and venue for the fringe festival. During the early part of the century the lodge was a significant social centre.

Built in 1910 as the original Orange Lodge. The building is basically sound with a relatively new forced air heating system and a new water tank. The basement appears to have been built sometime after the building was constructed.
* * *
Historical Summary:
The Strathcona Orange Hall was constructed in 1903 to house the activities of the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654, which had been established in 1895. The Hall remained an active community centre even after the amalgamation of Strathcona with Edmonton. The Hall still serves the Loyal Orange Lodge and the Lady Strathcona Lodge as a meeting facility and is rented out to the public for a variety of functions.

It is a wood frame structure which remains much as it was built. The white clapboard siding was originally painted a dark colour, and the closed-in porch is a later addition. The Hall is unchanged. Inside, the Hall has hardwood flooring, wainscotting, and, at one end, a stage with a podium and carved wooden arch. The Orange Hall is one of only a few wood frame buildings remaining in Old Strathcona, and reflects the communities earliest days.

* * *
Loyal Orange Lodge No. 1654 was formed in 1895. From that time until the construction of Orange Hall in 1903, meetings were held in members' homes. Some of the community's leading citizens were among the fraternity's founding membership. H.W. Nash, a Strathcona grain buyer, played host to the first meeting; Rev. Robert A. Munroe was the lodge's first grand master; R.W. Pettipiece, the editor of the South Edmonton News was the first recording secretary; and Robert McKernan, later the owner of the Dominion Hotel, organized several Orangemen's parades and was subsequently grand master of the lodge.

Every year on the 'Glorious 12th of July' the members of the Orange Lodge would parade down Whyte Avenue in honour of William of Orange, a Protestant who became King of England in place of James II, a catholic. The first such parade held in Strathcona was in 1895 and was composed of 60 Orangemen and a fife and drum corps. By 1904 the group's membership had grown considerably, and an impressive 2,500 Orangemen from all over Alberta participated in that year's procession. Originally a partisan group supporting the cause of Protestantism in England, today Strathcona's Lodge operates primarily as a benevolent association, raising funds for various children's charities.

Orange Hall is a wood frame structure which remains much as it was built. The land on which it stands was bought for $150 in 1903 and the hall was built in the same year, largely by the membership themselves. The white clapboard siding was originally painted a dark colour, and the closed-in porch is a later addition. Otherwise the hall is essentially unchanged. Inside, the hall has hardwood flooring, wainscotting, and at one end, a stage with a podium and carved wooden arch. In 1980, because of the well preserved interior, the hall was used as the set for a documentary on the life of Alberta women's rights activist Emily Murphy.

* * *
ORANGE HALL (1903) A Hamble Clapboard Hall

Tucked between the Strathcona library and an Edmonton Transit garage stands a white clapboard frame hall. One of the south side's oldest buildings, the Orange Hall was home to the Loyal Orange Order, Chapter 1164.

The small building still accommodated monthly meetings of various lodge groups, and manifested another destiny as the home for the South Side Folk Club. The building was also used by the Fringe Theatre Festival and for other private events, but deep inside it remains true orange.

In dusty locked cupboards in the hall basement lie some of the order's oldest documents. These include a 1915 black leather Bible with LOL No.1654 inscribed on the cover, and the first minute book with meetings carefully noted as early as 1895. It was in that year the lodge began, with the first meetings held in the home of founding member and treasurer H.W. Nash, a Strathcona grain buyer.

Another founding member - and the order's first recording secretary - was R.W. Pettipiece, who was editor of the weekly South Edmonton News, predecessor of The Strathcona Plaindealer. Some accounts say that noted south side pioneer Robert McKernan was the order's first worshipful master, but the lodge's incorporation charter - dated 1895 and mounted on the wall left of the stage podium - noted that Reverend Robert A. Munroe occupied that position.
McKernan, whose signature is liberally inscribed in the ancient minute book, was a subsequent worshipful master. McKernan came to Edmonton in 1877. He then purchased a farm on the south side for $10 from a Cree Indian. It is found where the neighborhood that bears his name is located today. The elder McKernan, who died in 1908, built the Dominion Hotel in 1903 on Whyte Avenue, while his son John was responsible for building the Princess Theatre.
The first Orangeman's parade was held on the 'Glorious 12th of July' 1895, when the flags of the British and King William III were strutted down Whyte Avenue by 60 Orangemen to the accompaniment of fifes and drums. The biggest parade was held in 1904, when 2,500 Orangemen assembled. By the later part of the 20th century, parades were seldom held, except on special occasions.
The hall was constructed about 1903 on a lot purchased for $150.

Members built much of the hall themselves to reduce labor costs. The interior is said to have been plastered and painted for $240. The basement was added later.

The building is of a simple design with an unembellished clapboard exterior, and lacking the elaborate detailing which later became prevalent. It features an assembly hall with hardwood flooring, wood wainscotting, and a stage with a centre podium and a carved wooden arch. The Queen's photograph overlooks the hall over the lodge's unfurled banner, while historic photos and charters decorated the walls.
By the mid-1980s, the lodge had about 90 members and operated primarily as a benevolent association, raising funds for various children's charities.
* * *
Strathcona Orange Hall, Edmonton (Loyal Orange Lodge # 1654)

Description of Historic Place

The Orange Hall is an early twentieth century one-storey wood frame building and features a high-pitched gable-end roof. It is located in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton, nestled amongst other heritage buildings on one lot at the edge of MacIntyre Park. A small closed porch serves as an entrance to the hall, and the building's front and rear boast the name "Orange Hall" prominently lettered in a vibrant orange colour.

Statement of Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Strathcona Orange Hall lies in its identity as a strong example of the type of modest wooden buildings constructed throughout the province in the early twentieth century, often for use as meeting halls. As such, it is one of the last remaining wooden buildings in Old Strathcona. It is also significant for its association with the history of fraternal societies in Alberta, specifically the Loyal Orange Order.

A simple wood frame structure with a plain exterior, the Orange Hall perhaps reflects the preference for a sense of austerity characteristic of many Protestant churches, yet it is clear that pragmatic concerns were paramount in the building's construction. Composed primarily of an open assembly hall with a raised stage at the south end, the building is an excellent model of the balloon framing type of construction common to frame buildings at the turn of the twentieth century. Amidst the many brick buildings that surround it, the Orange Hall stands as a vivid reminder of the earliest years of Old Strathcona.

Fraternal organizations played a significant role in the early social life of the province, the Loyal Orange Order being one such organization. The Orange Lodges often employed similar wooden buildings for its use as meeting halls. Established in Strathcona, in 1895, the Loyal Orange Lodge # 1654 was initiated primarily by local Protestants, mainly members of the Anglican Church. Built in 1903 by volunteer labour, the Orange Hall provided a venue for Lodge meetings, and served the following year as the point of departure for the largest Orange parade on record in Alberta. In 1904 two thousand five hundred Albertans celebrated and marched together. Notable Orangemen that served as officers of the Lodge include such names as Robert McKernan and R.W. Pettipiece, editor of the South Edmonton News. Premier A. C. Rutherford was often present and participated in the annual Orange celebrations. In addition to Orange activities, the hall has served as a popular community centre and hall well used by the general public for over a century.

(Source: Alberta Community Development, Heritage Resource Management Branch (File: Des. 1163)

Character Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Orange Hall include such features as:

- size, form, scale, and massing;
- location and siting within its context of Old Strathcona;
- wood balloon frame construction;
- medium pitch gable roof;
- drop siding exterior;
- timber window frames and sashes
- interior elements such as the elaborate wall niche composed of decorative wooden pillasters and an arch;
- original wood flooring with rectangular pattern;
- vertical tongue and groove "V"- jointed wainscotting, trim, panel doors, and interior plasterwork;
- "Orange Hall" lettered in orange on the front façade above the entry and on rear;

Building Social and Community Life: Community Organizations
Building Social and Community Life: Social Movements
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life: Architecture and Design

* * *
Criteria C - Style / Type / Method of Construction

The 1903 Orange Hall is an important component in the historic centre of Edmonton's Strathcona district, which was founded in 1891. It is one of only a very few remaining wood frame structures in the commercial and civic centre of the community, and is also among the oldest. Other extant wood frame buildings in Strathcona include the 1891 Strathcona Hotel (RHR), the 1894 Hub Cigar Store (largely burnt down), and the 1901 Chapman Brothers store (RHR). Photographs and fire insurance maps show that Whyte Avenue was originally lined with wood frame commercial buildings. On 83 Avenue, Strathcona's Fire Hall #1 (1906), adjacent to the Orange Hall, was also a wood frame building.

Brick had been produced in the area as early as 1881, and some structures were built using this material in the early 1900s. The oldest remaining example is the Gainer Block, which was erected in 1902. However, after the enactment of a bylaw mandating the use of brick in Strathcona's commercial district in 1902 - as a precaution against fire - the predominantly wood frame boomtown front buildings along Whyte Avenue were rapidly replaced with larger structures in the approved material. When the fire hall was replaced in 1913, it too was a brick building. Photographs from 1914 reveal a transformed streetscape dominated by two- and three-storey brick buildings.

The Orange Hall is a very simple structure, the design of which elaborates only slightly on its function as a place to house the meetings of the Loyal Orange Lodge. It has a rectangular in footprint and a medium pitch gable roof, and is typical of the kind of wood frame buildings erected in communities across Alberta. By the addition or subtraction of features such as display windows, a recess entry, a boomtown front, or a belfry, these generic boxes could serve any number of purposes. As a general rule, such buildings were among the first in a community and often were intended from the start as a temporary. If anticipated growth and prosperity materialized, it was not long before a grander building replaced the original. In cases where this did not occur, such as Strathcona, which faded after amalgamation with Edmonton in 1912, evidence of the initial stage of development might survive.

The historic Strathcona district is of provincial significance, and the Orange Hall is a contributing element within the district.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal Historic Resource
Provincial Historic Resource
Register: A93
Record Information: Record Information Date:
S. Khanna 1992/11/04


Alberta Register of Historic Places:
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