Elks Lodge No. 878 - Elmhurst (Queens), N.Y. (credit: Forgotten New York)
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  Elks Lodge No. 878 - Elmhurst (Queens), N.Y. (Wurts Bros. 1928, MCNY)
  Wurts Bros. (1928)
Elks Lodge No. 878

82-20 Queens Boulevard, near 51st Avenue
Elmhurst (Queens), N.Y. 11373







Founded in 1903, the Queensboro Lodge No. 878 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E.) erected a new Club House in 1923 at a cost of $750,000. Located on Queens Boulevard near 51st Avenue in Elmhurst, Queens, the neoclassical structure was designed by the Ballinger Company and constructed of granite and brick with limestone trimming. Inside the five-story building were a swimming pool, a gym, an Aztec-themed 700-seat theater, 28 guest rooms, a banquet hall, three bars, smoking rooms, and eight bowling alleys. Large stained-glass panels on each wall of the theater illustrated the Elks' four cardinal tenets: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.

During its heydey, the Queensboro Lodge had 6,600 members, including some of the borough's most prominent residents. Over the years, members died or moved away, and area demographics changed. Membership in the Elks was restricted to American citizens, and many of the new residents of Queens did not meet that requirement. By 2001, the membership had dwindled to about 550, and officials decided to sell the building to the New Life Fellowship, a Korean church organization that had been renting the mezzanine for the previous five years. The Elks continued as tenants, meeting in the basement and in the addition that housed the swimming pool. For several decades, the building was the site of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) bouts.
           
  Console of Wurlitzer Organ, Op. 940 (1924) in the Queensboro Elks Lodge - Elmhurst, N.Y. (credit: AJWB Collection)
Wurlitzer Organ Company
North Tonawanda, N.Y. – Opus 940 (1924)
Electro-pneumatic action
Style "Special"
3 manuals, 9 ranks




The organ in the Queensboro Lodge was built by the Wurlitzer Organ Company, and had a factory date of November 6, 1924. Specifications of this organ have not yet been located.
           
Sources:
     Forgotten New York web site: http://www.forgotten-ny.com
     Jacob, Andrew. "Inside Queens; Glory of Elkdom Fading for Lodge 878," The New York Times (Aug. 27, 1995).
     Junchen, David L., comp. and ed. by Jeff Weiler. The WurliTzer Pipe Organ – An Illustrated History. Chicago: The American Theatre Organ Society, 2005.
     Kaufmann, Preston J. Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol. 3. Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1995.
     Lippincott, E.E. "Neighborhood Report: Elmhurst; Benevolent, Protective, Sold: An Era Ends on the Boulevard," The New York Times (July 1, 2001).

Illustrations:
     ALWB Collection. Console of Wurlitzer Organ, Op. 940 (1924).
     Forgotten New York web site. Color exterior.
     Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.). Exterior (1928).