Odd Fellows Home of Ohio, Springfield Ohio

Date added: October 13, 2015 Categories: Ohio Community Facility Hospital

The exterior of the Odd Fellows Home appears much as it did when first constructed. The original plans however, called for a two story structure with large covered porches on the front and on either side and a mottled tile roof. When completed, the main structure was increased to three stories in height and the porches were not built. Also, heavy red tile was substituted for the mottled tile. The cost of construction was estimated at $57,187 as a result of the aforementioned modifications. The interior of the third floor was finished in 1899.

By 1902, the home was full with approximately 250 residents and discussions began concerning an addition. In that same year, the home was electrified with power being supplied by the Springfield Electric Light Company at a cost of $841.00 per year. 1902 also was the year in which numerous trees and flowers were planted on the grounds and in which a dairy was installed in an adjacent barn.

In 1906, a separate building to house a laundry and power plant was erected behind the main building. This two story brick structure was designed by architects Stribling and Lum of Columbus, Ohio and built by contractor Anthony Poss of Springfield, Ohio at a cost of $9,962. It was 38 by 90 feet in size with a slate roof. The boiler room and coal storage were in the basement, with the laundry above.

The following year, 1907, saw the largest additions to the home. Two, three story wings were added to either side of the original structure. these two wings, constructed of brick and matching that of the original building, extended from the rear of the east and west sections of the original home each at a 45 degree angle. These additions were also designed by Stribling and Lum of Columbus. The contract for construction again was awarded to Anthony Poss of Springfield, the low bidder, at $36,430. The contract also called for adding a kitchen at the rear of the dining room, raising the walls and roof of the boiler house, and tunnels for a new steam heating system. The installation of the new heating system was handled separately and was completed by the firm of Fitzpatrick and Hoepfner of Columbus, Ohio at a cost of $5,285. The new heating was a vacuum type of steam heat known as the 'Paul Steam System.' The total cost of all improvements, including completion of interior spaces, fire walls, and auto ma tic rolling fire doors, was $66,481. The additions were dedicated on October 31, 1907. By 1910, the entire debt on the structure had been retired and $6,000 had been raised to serve as an operational endowment fund.

The next major addition to the complex was a two story hospital building which was constructed in 1916 at the northwest corner of the property approximately 30 feet from the end of t]>e western wing. The hospital building was "H" shaped in plan, and continues today as the "Intermediate Care Facility" with a full staff of nurses.

Several years later in 1925, another building was added to the northeast of the eastern wing in approximately the same location as the hospital. This building served as a nursery originally and in later years, after 1936, as the offices of the Ohio I.O.O.F. Grand Lodge.

In 1926, the open porch at the center of the facade of the original building was enclosed with brick, and capped by a decorative stone balustrade, with the inscription I.O.O.F Home.

In the 1950's, the eastern and western wings were connected to the nursery and hospital by one and one-half and two and one-half story brick connectors respectively. At about the same time, the two side porches on the original central block were enclosed and utilized as sitting rooms for the residents.

Since 1960, significant alterations include the lowering and rebuilding of the power plant roof, thereby eliminating the dormers and slate roof, adding a garage building behind the power plant, and the filling in of the swimming pool and removal of one bathhouse at the northeast rear corner of the home's immediate surroundings.