The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge #42 in Little Falls is proud to announce that on Friday, June 21st at 6 pm, Little Falls Elks members will be holding a ceremony to recognize the retirement of the 2008 loan used to re-build the Lodge’s signature porch. The Little Falls Elks Lodge is an old, Victorian mansion with a large, prominent front porch located at the corner of Ann Street and Gansevoort Street, directly across from Burke Park in the beautiful city of Little Falls.
The porch loan has been paid off several months ahead of schedule due to the generosity of a group of anonymous Elks members who donated toward the early payoff this year. After the brief ceremony, called a “Porch-Loan Burning” (similar to a traditional Elks mortgage-burning ceremony) there will be a party to follow with music from the Curtiss Road Band. The public is invited to the party which runs from 7 to 11 pm. The Little Falls Elks Lodge is located at 2 West Gansevoort Street. There is a $10 admission charge for this event which includes a light buffet after the ceremony, along with the live band. For anyone who just wants to attend the ceremony on the porch there is no charge.
In 2008 the porch was in serious disrepair, and discussions began among Elks lodge members about the options available to improve the structure. Around the same time, a long-time Elk member donated a gift of $32,000 to the lodge and the members debated about using the gift toward repair of the porch. One of the options considered was to actually tear the porch off and add a simpler structure to replace it, as that option would save a substantial amount of money. Members voted to proceed with a complete repair job for the existing porch, to keep it looking as much like the original porch as possible.
Local lodge member Clarence Kohn was appointed to oversee the project, and after plans and drawings were prepared he sought bids from 5 area contractors to do the work. Well-known Little Falls contractor Fred “Chico” Urich of Little Falls Construction, Inc., was awarded the bid with a quote of $72,000 to rebuild the porch. Further discussion was held among the Elks members on how to finance the $72,000 project cost, and it was ultimately decided to use the $32,000 donation received together with a $40,000 loan borrowed in 2008 for the reconstruction.
Mr. Kohn noted that the project was more expensive than a normal porch repair because everything had to be cut individually and be uniquely made to order, like the previous porch, and also because the front railing is a beautiful curved-radius railing rather than a straight railing. The fact that the porch was 80 feet long also added to the cost.
Lodge Exalted Ruler Brian J. Molinaro commented “I believe the lodge members made the right decision back in 2008 to rebuild the porch to match the original design as that porch is really the face of the very visible Elks lodge, and the porch has served all who come to functions at the lodge very well, especially during the great gatherings for Canal Days in August each year.” Molinaro also said “A good crowd is expected to attend the porch ceremony, including members from several other area lodges. We hope many members of the Little Falls community and surrounding area will join us for this joyful celebration.”