If you venture onto front street in downtown Boise, you would probably notice the Chinese Odd Fellows Temple. This building was completed in the year 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Historically, the Odd Fellows building was used as a social meeting place and a clubhouse. The Odd-Fellows building was also a place of business for many Chinese immigrants. Several businesses operated in the building (almost all Chinese).
The Chinese Odd Fellows building was designed and created by the famous Idaho architectural duo consisting of John E. Tourtellotte and Charles F. Hummel. The National Register of Historical places lists the architectural style of the Chinese Odd Fellows building as Renaissance.
The Front Street Chinese Odd Fellows Temple is not to be confused with the Adam Odd Fellows Temple found on North 9th street, also in the downtown Boise area. That building was completed in 1907, also by Tourtellotte and Hummel. It is unknown why exactly the building was called the "Odd Fellows" building was given that association since neither the building or its occupants had any association with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In all probability it is because its use as a meeting place for Chinese Boiseans mirrored the fraternity of the Order.
Know anything about the Chinese Odd Fellows Building, or its original occupants? Tell us about it here!
- Idaho Public Television. (n.d.). “The Original Architects.” Retrieved November 17, 2011, from Idaho Public Television: http://idahoptv.org/productions/specials/capitoloflight/architects.cfm
- Find The Data. (n.d.). “Chinese Odd Fellows Building: Boise, Idaho.” Retrieved November 17, 2011, from: http://historical-places.findthedata.org/l/51723/Chinese-Odd-Fellows-Building
- National Register of Historic Places. (n.d.). “Chinese Odd Fellows Building.” Retrieved November 19, 2011, from National Register of Historic Places: http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/id/ada/state.html
- Rose, P. (2001). “Hummel born to draw.” The Idaho Business Review, 20(46), S3-S3. Retrieved on November 19, 2011 from: http://search.proquest.com/docview/219076870?accountid=9649
- Wikipedia. (April 24, 2011). “Chinese Odd Fellows Building.” Retrieved November 19, 2011 from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Odd_Fellows_Building
- Wright, P. (September 22, 1982). “Tourtellotte and Hummel Architecture Thematic Resources.” Retrieved on November 19, 2011 from: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/64000170.PDF