The Eagles Auditorium Building is one of Seattle's most beautiful terra-cotta buildings, and its Renaissance-revival styling manages to be both serene and imposing. The Eagles Lodge took its name from a stuffed eagle displayed in the hallway of an early meeting hall.
The Eagles Auditorium Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and one year later it was designated as a Seattle Landmark to recognize its important role in local heritage.
On February 6, 1898, a group of theater managers met to discuss combining their philosophy on democracy and common humanity, it was decided that an organization should be formed to reflect this essence, an organization called the "Seattle Order of Good Things," Later renamed the "Fraternal Order of Eagles."
In 1924, the Seattle chapter built a larger home, aiming for an impressive elegance that would attract new members and make Aerie #1 the largest Eagles Lodge in the nation. Originally designed by Henry Bittman in 1924, the Auditorium is recognized for its terra-cotta ornamentation and Romanesque style.
It was renovated in 1995 to become the new home of the "A Contemporary Theater." The Eagles Auditorium, opened as Kreielsheimer Place in September of 1996, and now holds 2 theatres, the Allen, and Falls theatres, a cabare,t and 44 apartments.
Located at 1416 Seventh Avenue at the intersection of Union Street, the auditorium had been virtually unoccupied for more than a decade when A Contemporary Theater and the Seattle Housing Resource Group collaborated to renovate the landmark structure.
By 1993, it was judged structurally sound and experts determined it could be restored to its former grandeur and used as a public facility.
It was decided to add an additional story to the top of the structure. The new penthouse was carefully designed to minimize it's visual impact and preserve the appearance of the south and west facades fronting Union Street and Seventh Avenue. The new penthouse protects the arena theater below from outside ambient noise.
The success of the Eagles Auditorium renovation was in large part due to the close coordination and cooperation of the design team and contractor.
As an anecdote in the history of the building, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed an overflowing crowd in the Grand Ballroom during his only visit to Seattle, in November 1961.