Monday, December 31, 2007

Emmet Hall Opens

And earlier entry told of a fire at the Emmet Theatre on Centre street. This article announces the opening of the Emmet building two years earlier. There were several such building in Jamaica Plain, with shops on the street level and a hall or meeting rooms and sometimes apartments above. The Mason's building at the north corner of Centre street and Seaverns avenue still stands, while many more have been torn down. This building was built by the A.O.H. Of course you knew that those initials stand for Ancient Order of Hibernians, right? There was no need to "spell it out" at the time, as this article shows. That the building was named for Robert Emmet should tell you something about the men who filled the ranks of the organization - I'll let you investigate Mr Emmet off-site.

At the bottom of this 1914 map, you can see the Emmet Building at the corner of Centre street and Starr lane. This 1924 map calls it the Strand Theatre. I've been searching for information on the Strand, but I've come up empty so far.

Addendum (9/24/08): I've added more on Emmett Hall - later the Strand Theatre -in an entry here.

Boston Daily Globe October 9, 1910

Will Dedicate New Hall.

Robert Emmet Association of Jamaica Plain Has Completed Fine New Building.

The new building at 652-660 Centre st, Jamaica Plain, to be known as Emmet hall, and erected by divisions 15, 40 and 51, A.O.H., is to be dedicated with fitting exercises on the evening of Oct 13.

More than a year ago members of these divisions of the A.O.H. organized as the Robert Emmet association and purchased the property that was known as Arcanum hall. It contained 10,000 square feet of land and the new building has been erected at a cost of $75,000. It is centrally located in the heart of the business section of Jamaica Plain, and the assured rentals to date make sure its success from a financial standpoint at the start.

The building contains four large stores on the ground floor, two fine lodge rooms, with anterooms, committee rooms and one of the largest and best equipped dancing halls in this city.

The exercises of dedication will include a banquet, unveiling of a flag and addresses by prominent officials of the state, city and of the A.O.H. Among those to whom invitations have been extended to be present and take part in the dedication of the new building, are Gov Draper, Lieut Gov Louis A. Frothingham, Senators Henry Cabot Lodge and Murray Crane, Mayor John F. Fitzgerald, Mayor Brooks of Cambridge, the local congressmen, H. Regan, national president of the A.O.H.; Matthew Cummings, ex-national president of the A.O.H.; the state and county officers of the order and officials of other fraternal bodies.

The committee through whose untiring efforts the project of a new building for the A.O.H. has been worked out successfully includes these men who constitute the board of directors Francis J. Horgan chairman, Joseph H. Fallon vice chairman, Lawrence J. Malone clerk, Fred J. McLaughlin treas, William J. Burke, Brien McElroy, John J. McLaughlin, James J. Curley, Timothy Finneran, James Corvin.

[there follows a long listing of numerous committee and sub-committee members]

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