Sunday, July 6, 2014

OOF Hall

Location:   Manhattan
Year:   1819

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a U.S. fraternal organization based upon the Order of Odd Fellows (OOF) established in Great Britain in the 1700s. The IOOF was the first Fraternal Brotherhood to admit women, in 1851. 

Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity.

Teachings in the Order are conducted through the exemplification of the Degrees of membership. The Degrees are conferred on the candidate by their Lodge, and are teachings of principles and truths by ceremonies and symbols. The Degrees are presented largely by means of allegory and drama. For Odd Fellows, the degrees in Odd Fellowship emphasizes a leaving of the old life and the start of a better one, of welcoming travelers, and of helping those in need.

The original Odd Fellows Hall in New York was built in 1847, in an Italianate style popular at the time. It stands at 165-171 Grand Street between Centre and Baxter Streets, on the northern border of Little Italy. Used by the Odd Fellows until the 1880s, the Hall moved uptown as the city grew, and the building was put to other uses. It is now a residential condominium.

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