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Lodge gets a makeover

Joe Fox installs windows at the Red Wing Elks Lodge. (Photo courtesy of the Elks)

An extensive renovation project has shed some new light on the Red Wing Elks Lodge, literally.

Three large windows cut into the exterior wall are among numerous improvements that have transformed the space, catching the attention of passing traffic and pleasing lodge members.

“We have heard great feedback from everyone,” said Scott Guse of the Elks Board of Trustees. “This was a community effort to update and preserve this space.” 

The Red Wing Elks Lodge 845 has been serving the community since 1903. “We are a service organization committed to making a difference,” Guse said.

The renovation reflects on the group’s strong Red Wing ties, he said, with community assistance helping the exterior renovation as well as interior remodeling. The exterior work was made possible with fund from the Red Wing Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

“At one time, we had an offer to sell the building, and that offer included funding from the Red Wing HRA,” Guse said. “When that offer didn’t come together, we looked into the funding from the HRA on our own. We are so grateful for their support.”

The windows are the most noticeable additions to the building, along with a new coat of paint and new awning on West Fifth Street.

As talks began about updating the exterior, board members also discussed the option of remodeling the interior, said Trustee Royce Bottin.

“We are under the laws of the Grand Lodge, so we went through the processes to gain approval,” Bottin said. “We decided it was time for an update to our space inside as well.” 

More than 60 Elks member volunteers and a handful of local businesses lent their hands with the floor to ceiling remodel.

“We worked with Red Wing Construction, Curly’s Welding, T-N-T Upholstery, Wynn’s Construction, Static Electric, Klair Construction, and Ferrin’s Furniture,” Guse said. “It spoke volumes to see the volunteers and businesses helping with this project.”

Guse described the previous space as cavernous.

“We had a large space, and without natural light coming in, it got pretty dark in here,” he said. “We lightened up the wall colors, replaced the ceiling tiles, installed new carpet, and are now capitalizing on the light from the new windows. It looks like a completely new space.”

The renovations also produced a new casual seating area, with couches, fireplace and a TV monitor for group gatherings.

“We are finding that members are really enjoying the new lounge area,” Guse said. 

The Red Wing Elks Lodge currently has 485 members. The lodge is available for members to hold events at no cost.

“We have hosted weddings, retirement parties, baby showers, bridal showers, and more,” Bottin said. “We hope this remodel will help get even more events coming in our doors.”

Elks Lodge members have planned a grand reopening for May 1.

“We would love to see as many people as we can come join us, and enjoy the new space,” Guse said.

The recent Elks Lodge renovations highlight the strength of a community working together.

“We’ve been a cornerstone in the community for over 100 years, and now we have the updated space to continue making an impact,” Guse said. “We are looking forward to many good years in this new space.”

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