The idea is a simple one; the process can be a bit more creative. Ocean View Lodge 143 is exploring the idea of installing an elevator in their beautiful historic building located on Main Street right in the center of town.

IOOF elevator 5 9 17Why you ask does there need to be an elevator? There is already an electric staircase and you may have seen people using it or hauling items up the staircase with it for an array of events. As Joe Brennan, The current leader, the "Noble Grand" says, "it is like looking up a mine shaft" and there are groups and individuals who would use the space except for the mobility issues.

There is an imperative, call it a mission, in the lodge to become one of the gathering places for the community, for large groups to use for meetings, and a variety of events. At present, programs are limited to those hosted by members of the lodge itself. The Lodge offers movies, concerts, speakers and forums, but the lack of accessibility impedes older adults and those with disabilities.

John Evans, a local architect who has worked with the board since 2009, prepared architectural renderings of the elevator. After much discussion and many hours of consideration, Joe Brennan, Jim Rudolph and Nancy Margulies, Trustees, have determined it best to place the elevator at the back end of the entry hall, where it will arrive at the top of the existing landing, just where one would arrive with the stairs. The existing staircase will remain in tact, but this new addition will not only provide access for those who can’t navigate the stairs, but will also enable people setting up for events, bringing sound equipment, beverages and other material upstairs to gain access with ease and comfort. When someone says, “Oh no, I left the ice downstairs", it will not be such a big deal.

John Evans has worked on many local and historic buildings. He loves woodworking and is fascinated by fine craftwork. With a background as an architect for over 40 years and a commitment to the coastal community demonstrated by teaching and coaching in local schools, John believes this improvement will really help make the Odd Fellows Hall accessible for everyone. Some of the buildings he worked on include the Shorebird, Princeton Inn, Methodist Church and the first renovation of Cunha Store. He likes to do "prototype" woodwork and unique projects.

There was talk of putting the elevator in the throughway where the trashcans sit and the exterior metal staircase winds around. But that would require a lot more reconstruction and would certainly not be as welcoming or enclosed as the current construction option.

Some lodge members wonder if the implementation of a modern elevator will detract from the historic quaintness, uniqueness and antiquity that has made the lodge what it is for over 140 years. Might the whole building become a 21st century work by modernizing the bathroom, the kitchen and change other elegant attributes?

Indeed with the advent of the elevator, if the membership agrees in a formal vote, things will be fresh and new in some places. But the integrity of the original building and its mission to serve the community and protect orphans, widows and the downtrodden, will not change. In fact, it is a contended that this will allow more fundraisers for the community, lodge members creative projects and important causes on the coast.

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Ocean View Lodge 143
526 Main Street
PO Box 712
Half Moon Bay
CA 94019

Phone: 650-712-0718

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