Elks National Veterans Memorial
The Elks National Veterans Memorial is a Beaux Arts-style domed building at 2750 North Lakeview Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. The structure was planned by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, who wished to honor members of their order who had served in World War I. A design competition was administered by the American Institute of Architects. Architect Egerton Swartwout's design was selected for the building, which was constructed between 1924 and 1926. Fine marble was imported from Greece, Austria, France, Belgium and Italy, as well as from Vermont, Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri. High quality limestone came from Indiana. The building's lavish construction and interior decoration and artwork have caused it to be described as "one of the most magnificent war memorials in the world." The building features sculptures by Adolph A. Weinman, Laura Gardin Fraser, and James Earle Fraser, and murals by Eugene Savage and Edwin Blashfield.
The rotunda features murals and statues depicting the Elks' four cardinal virtues: charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity. The friezes portray the "Triumphs of War" on one side and "Triumphs of Peace" on the other. The entrance is flanked by two large bronze sculptures of elks.
The Elks rededicated the memorial in 1946, 1976, and 1994 to honor veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all subsequent conflicts. On October 1, 2003, the City of Chicago granted the memorial landmark status.
Besides its status as a memorial, the building serves as the national headquarters of the Elks.
- Elks National Memorial Headquarters Building. City of Chicago. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
- "Open House Chicago: Elks National Memorial". Chicago Architecture Foundation. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- Alice Sinkevitch, et al. AIA Guide to Chicago. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004, 202.
- Melanie Ann Apel. Lincoln Park, Chicago. Arcadia, 2002. 96.