Odd Fellows Building

23 Central Sq

1896

Architectural Style

Italianate

Significance

Architecture, Commerce, Social History

Use Type

Commercial Block, Meeting Hall

Neighborhood

Bridgewater Town Center

Massachusetts Historical Commission Report

Architectural Significance

This is a 3-story frame structure currently covered with aluminum siding. Its ground floor contains 2 stores with recessed entrances and an intact late 19th c. molded metal cornice. Its 3-bay main facade culminates in a bracketed cornice—in its center is a painted arch similar to that of the Liquor Mart building next door. To the rear of this building is a long, 2-story ell.

Historical Significance

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries this structure housed a variety of commercial concerns and community organizations. For many years it was known as the Masonic Building. Prior to its construction, late 1890's, Bridgewater's Masons met in the brick Bank Block on Central Square. In addition to Masons, members of the Women's Christian Temperance Organization met on the 2nd floor (1890's) and the International Organization of Odd Fellows held meetings here during the early 1900's. In an insurance map of 1903 this building is labeled Masonic Building. Over time its commercial concerns have included millinery, dry goods, grocery and clothing stores.