KofC at 125 — ‘Enthusiasm abounding’

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts leading up to the 125th anniversary of the founding in December 1896 of the Glens Falls Knights of Columbus and the centennial of the start of construction in 1922 of the former Knights of Columbus hall at the corner of Warren and Center streets. The building is now the offices of the FitzGerald Morris Baker Firth law firm and Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The contractor didn’t waste any time.

“It was stated last night that a steam shovel was en route to Glens Falls and would be on the site of the new building ready to start work this morning,” The Post-Star reported on May 11, 1922.

The previous evening trustees of Knights of Columbus Council 194 authorized signing a contract with general contractor C. P. Boland of Troy at a cost of $139,094.37 — the equivalent of $2.17 million in 2020 dollars. The council already owned the land.

It was expected that the auditorium would be completed by Sept. 1, and the club house by Dec. 1.

The council also announced that the new building would have space to establish a Boy’s Club for youth from the St. Mary’s and St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic parishes.

The council of 850 members was building a new building because its membership had outgrown the capacity of its building on Maple Street.

The council had started site work and put the project out to bids in 1921, but decided not to accept any of the bids.

Plans were revised in the interim for a two-story structure instead of a four-story structure originally planned.

In the original plans, the third and fourth floors would have been rented out for office space or meeting rooms for other organizations.

A swimming pool in the original plans would not be constructed immediately, but a large storage room space could be converted to a pool in the future.

The first floor would contain reception rooms, a library, office for the financial secretary, a coat check room, and a corridor leading to the auditorium, which would have a stage, basketball court and capacity for 1,500 people.

The basement of the auditorium would contain a gymnasium, Boy’s Club rooms, a library, game rooms, shower and locker rooms, and the storage room that could be converted later to a swimming pool.

The second floor would contain a billiard room, four game rooms, and officers’ rooms.

Plans were presented “with enthusiasm abounding” to members at a dinner meeting April 27 at Parish Hall, The Post-Star reported on April 28.

Entertainment at the meeting featured music by Lambert’s Orchestra and dramatic comedy sketches by the K. of C. Frolics.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY