711 E. FRANKLIN ST. / GORGON'S HEAD LODGE

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711 E. FRANKLIN ST. / GORGON'S HEAD LODGE

711
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1920
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 

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Last updated

  • Wed, 02/10/2021 - 2:05pm by SteveR

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711
,
Chapel Hill
NC
Built in
circa 1920
Architectural style: 
,
Construction type: 
Local Historic District: 
National Register: 

 

1903

 

Built circa 1920 for use as a lodge by the UNC Order of the Gorgon's Head.

About the Order of the Gorgon's Head:

"The Order of the Gorgon's Head, a secret society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was founded in 1896. Membership has always been limited to male members of the junior, senior, professional, and post-graduate classes along with male faculty members. Inductees may not be members of other societies. Officers include Princeps (chief officer), Quaestor, and Scriptor. The purpose of the order is to promote friendship, good will, and social fellowship among its members.
 
The founding members were Darius Eatman, Edward Kidder Graham, Ralph Henry Graves, Samuel Selden Lamb, Richard Henry Lewis, Jr., and Percy DePonceau Whitaker. The Order of the Gorgon's Head was one of two 'junior orders' established at the university in the 1890s; the other was the Order of Gimghoul. The two orders had written agreements that they would not attempt to recruit freshmen or sophomores. Each order had a lodge ...where members gathered for meetings and events. Each had secret rituals based on myths. Those of the Order of the Gorgon's Head centered on the myth of the Gorgons, three monstrous sisters prominent in ancient Greek and Roman lore. The most famous of the Gorgons was Medusa, who had her head cut off by the warrior Perseus."
 

From the NRHP Chapel Hill Historic District Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation (2015):

"Constructed as a lodge for the Gorgon’s Head Society, this one-story, hip-roofed, Craftsman style structure is five bays wide and three bays deep. The building is covered with wood shingles and has paired, diamond-paned-over-one-light windows. A three-bay-wide, projecting, hip-roofed entrance wing
on the façade has paired six-panel doors sheltered by a pedimented, front-gabled porch supported by paneled square columns. The entrance is flanked by paired windows and a continuous wood windowsill extends around the full perimeter of the front wing. A single, hip-roofed bay projects from the right (east) and left (west) elevations, each with a tripartite window. A full-width, shed-roofed porch across the rear elevation is supported by square columns and has a matchstick railing. The building is set slightly below street level and has a brick and gravel parking pad at the front. County tax records date the building to 1920 and it appears on the 1925 Sanborn map... ."

View north, June 2019 (via Google Streetview)

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