Workers remove awning from the old Elks Lodge building at 109 S. Franklin St. at midday Monday. While heavy construction equipment is parked next to the structure, the owner says no decision about the fate of the building has been made yet. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Workers remove awning from the old Elks Lodge building at 109 S. Franklin St. at midday Monday. While heavy construction equipment is parked next to the structure, the owner says no decision about the fate of the building has been made yet. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A bit of the historic former Elks Lodge downtown is coming down, but the building isn’t for now

Fate of building that was home to first territorial Legislature still being determined, owner says.

The old Elks Lodge building that was home to the first territorial Legislature of Alaska isn’t being demolished. At least not yet, with its owner saying Monday he’s probably a couple of months away about a decision regarding the fate of the building.

The street in front of the building at 109 S. Franklin St. was closed Monday, with workers in hard hats carrying boards and other materials along one wall, while an excavator and other heavy equipment sat in a lot that until recently was home to food stalls frequented by the summer crowd. But David McCasland, owner of the Deckhand Dave’s stall in that lot as well as the building, said for now the workers are just doing some preventative maintenance.

“As of now we’re just ripping off the awning that’s about to fall into the street,” he said.

A demolition permit has been issued for the location, but not a development permit, according to the City and Borough’s Community Development Department.

The building long known as Elks Lodge 420 was built by the Elks in 1908 and in 1913 the first territorial Legislature of Alaska was convened in the building. A historical marker near the door states: “Alaska’s first legislature met in this building on March 3, 1913. Named President of the Senate was L.V. Ray of Seward, and named Speaker of the House was Earnest B. Collins of Fox.”

It remained an Elks Lodge until 2006, when it was converted to a restaurant with a ballroom. A real estate ad for the 15,924-square-foot space, with a price tag of $1.56 million, describes it as “a great space to host a number of different events, this venue has three floors, two commercial kitchens, a walk-in freezer, two walk-in coolers and substantial storage space.”

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com.

Heavy equipment is parked next to the old Elks Lodge building at 109 S. Franklin St., in a lot where food stalls were operating during most of the cruise ship season that ended last week. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Heavy equipment is parked next to the old Elks Lodge building at 109 S. Franklin St., in a lot where food stalls were operating during most of the cruise ship season that ended last week. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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