The cornerstone for the old Elks Club, Lodge #148 on Washington Avenue in Greenville, was laid April 19, 1906.
Today has been a gala day in Greenville, the streets are crowded, banners are floating, and the town in decorated in purple and white in honor of the Greenville Lodge No. 148, B. P. O. Elks, who are celebrating the corner stone laying of their new $40,000 home, the ceremonies of which were begun at 1 o’clock p.m. today. (B. P. O. Elks, Daily Democrat Times, April 19, 1906, p. 5)
Russell W. Archer described the former lodge in the 2011 nomination for the Greenville Commercial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places (retrieved from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database):
A two-story (on a raised basement) cast concrete block Elks Lodge, with an asphalt gable roof which extends to a temple front over the full-facade two-story front porch. The gable end has modillions and dentil molding and an applied round crest in the center. The porch is supported with four two-story round cast concrete block columns (with Ionic capitals) resting on tall square stuccoed piers and two Ionic pilasters…The windows on the first floor have wrought iron balconies and stairs run on either side to form a small landing in front of the door.
The Neoclassical styled building is attributed to Patrick Henry Weathers. According to the Mississippi Heritage Trust, who listed it on the 10 Most Endangered list in 2003, it was known as the “social center for Greenville.” MHT cited the Greenville Times, February 16, 1907 coverage of the opening of the new lodge as including a billiard hall, barber shop, full library that contained “rare and expensive oil paintings” and was lighted with gas and electric lamps. It was declared a Mississippi Landmark in 2002, but has faced demolition a number of times since then. Currently owned by the Mississippi Action for Community Education (M.A.C.E), at least $2 million dollars is needed for restoration. In 2015, MHT reported no progress, though M.A.C.E. continues to work with the city of Greenville to secure funding.