Saturday, May 11, 2013

Old Shrine Club on East 8th Street in Erie PA

This majestic house at 124 East 8th Street in Erie, PA was originally the home and office of Dr. Charles Brandes. Dr. Brandes died in 1899 at the ripe old age of 81 years; his wife died in 1905. The Shrine Club acquired the house after her death and converted it into a club. 

"Early in 1908 the club purchased the fine semi-modern residence of the late Dr. Brandes on East Eighth street. Possession was taken immediately and in feverish haste the necessary alterations were undertaken, for it was desired to  have it in readiness for the fifty-fifth annual conclave of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, to be held in Erie during the last week in May, 1908. It was completed in time and its formal opening was a feature of that important Masonic event."-Twentieth Century History of Erie County, PA by John Miller.

The old Shriners' Club shown in the postcard above was destroyed by fire on February 12, 1980. None of the houses shown in the postcard exist today. The site was a surface parking lot for many years. A parking garage is currently under construction on this lot, which is across the street from the Erie Insurance Arena (formerly the Erie Civic Center Tullio Arena). The Zem Zem Shrine then moved from East 8th Street to a much larger facility on West 38th Street in Millcreek Township.

Please consider donating to the Shriners Hospital for Children- Erie:

Enjoy more historical facts and photos of Erie, PA at:


  1. In my senior year at Gannon (1970-71) I practically lived across the street from the Shriner's (at 145 East 8th).

  2. My first job in high school (early 1970's), and under the table at that, was helping serve up banquets or dishwashing at the old Shrine Club on 8th. Mom was a cook there; good memories of the women she worked with, too! Of course, by then, those other homes had been replaced by the modern banquet hall built behind this beautiful building, and parking. Members still ate in the dining room in the residence. It was a real treat to end the shift with a bowl of their bread pudding with raisins.

  3. When I was 12 I would go with my grandfather Walter Kramer for band practice and then play euchre with all the old timers (he he) Boy what fun that place was a
    adventure around every corner. Those guys were the best