236 Auburn Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Built in 1912 by a team of African-American architects, the six story Odd Fellows block was the address for many of Atlanta’s most important African-American owned businesses. The Atlanta Chapter of The Grand Order of Odd Fellows (a fraternal organization supporting and networking the black business community), built this substantial building as their headquarters and to provide much needed office, retail, professional meeting and entertainment space for African Americans.
A few facts about the Odd Fellows Building:
Booker T. Washington presented the dedication of the building when it opened in 1912.
Dr. Martin Luther King frequently held meetings in the offices of this building.
The building once provided space for the only movie house in Atlanta where African-Americans could be seated on the main floor, Bailey’s Royal Theater.
The Odd Fellows Building provided space for the offices of Dr. Shaw, which was Atlanta's first black optometrist, and The Gate City Drug Store (later Yates and Milton) which was owned by the first black pharmacist in Georgia, Dr. Amos Moses.
The Odd Fellows Auditorium immediately became the center for African American entertainment in Atlanta. The roof top garden created a space to dine and dance in an elegant atmosphere and performances by the likes of Count Basie and Lionel Hampton were not uncommon.
In the early 80’s and over three million dollars later, the Odd Fellows complex, in the heart of the Sweet Auburn’s Historical District, was restored and established a benchmark for redevelopment. The complex now contains over 50,000 square feet of prime commercial, retail, meeting, and entertainment space.
Only at the Odd Fellows can one find so much history accented by a touch of modern style.