The History of Eagle's Hall
Architectural Description by Milford Wayne Donaldson, Architect.
Historical Image of Eagles Hall
In 1917, the Eagles Aerie #244 contracted architects John S. Siebert and William H. Wheeler to design a three story building at 733 Eighth Avenue. The original neoclassical revival, san stuccoed brick structure was built for use as a lodge and social hall which measured 50' x 44'. The San Diego Union of 1934 shows an architectural rendering of the proposed expansion to the Eagles original building, giving a frontage of 96' on Eighth Avenue. The proposed expansion was designed in the Egyptian deco style. The actual façade built in 1934 differs some from the conceived found in the architect's rendering. Architectural features such as stylized deco column ornamentation, decorative mullion patterns and capped friezes were omitted when built in 1934. Rohr Aircraft purchased the building in 1952, modifying the interior to accommodate several small office spaces.
The Eighth Avenue west façade is a combination of the original 1917 structure and the 1934 expansion. The original 1917 façade is of common brick covered with sand-textured stucco and cast stone. It consisted of evenly spaced columns, three window bays and a central door opening. The columns are detailed with campanili leaves and fluting. Original to the 1917 façade was a large triangular pediment which was removed during the 1934 addition. The original wood window frames were removed and replaced with casement window. The original wood entry doors on the first floor were replaced by aluminum and glass doors (circa 1950).
Eagles Hall July 28, 1934
The building addition of 1934 modified the original 1917 façade. An Egyptian deco architectural style was proposed, although ultimately some of the characteristic details were omitted in the actual build façade. The expanded façade of 1934 was of concrete block covered with sand-textured stucco. The columns, windows and spacing were added to compliment the existing architectural style of the 1917 façade. The original metal window frames and casements of the 1934 expansion remain intact, with some original glass remaining. The simple flat frieze running the entire façade length is original to the 1934 structure which replaced the 1917 triangular pediment. The north façade is built of concrete block with four original doors. Two metal frame windows on the first floor and four on the second floor appear to be original. Two original metal fire stairs remain.
The rear east façade consists of exposed brick and concrete block.The south façade is built of brick which has been coated with stucco finish. The seven original windows on the first floor are filled in with block, while the three original windows on the second floor remain intact.
The first floor interior has been modified significantly by the subdivision of the original large open space. The original 24" square slab marble flooring in the entry and wood flooring elsewhere remain, but have been covered by linoleum tile and carpeting. Portions of the original decorative tile in the entry has been covered by paint and paneling. The “mission deco” style is seen in the banister detailing of the south stairway and appears to have been constructed in 1934. The north stair appears to have been added in 1952; the walnut and wrought iron banister detailing is contemporary in design.
The second floor has been modified only slightly and is in good condition. It originally served as a social hall with a series of small rooms off the hall being used as restrooms and support facilities. The original oak flooring remains through the second floor but has been covered the linoleum tile; occupying the floor was a clothing manufacturer.
The third floor consists of one large room divided by the original brick wall of the 1917 structure. The walls are exposed wood frame, brick or concrete block. The ceiling is exposed 2 x 6 joists.
The building has undergone a few major architectural changes since first constructed in 1917 in a Greek neoclassical revival style.
In 1934, the Egyptian deco design by architects Siebert and Wheeler was not fully implemented probably due to budgetary constraints.
In 1952, Rohr occupied the building and proceeded to cover the west façade with heavy stucco texture, added wrought iron light fixtures and partitioned the interior open spaces.
1955 Consolidated Aircraft Corporation
1975 San Diego Community college, District Skills Center, Adult Education
1983 County of San Diego, Social Services Department