Lincoln Club (Mechanics Temple)
Backstory and Context
In the late nineteenth century,wealthy Brooklynites, like their counterparts in Manhattan, formed numerous social clubs that catered the well-heeled and politically connected. The consolidation of the five boroughs in 1898 meant, as many in Brooklyn feared, that their city--one of the largest in the country--would eventually be eclipsed by Manhattan. Brooklyn's few remaining club houses--most of which long ago abandoned their original purpose--are a testimony to the rapid change in Brooklyn's stature.
The Lincoln Club building was constructed in 1890. The club itself was founded in 1878 as a social club and to promote Republican causes, but by the time the building was built, it functioned largely as a social club.The building's designer was Mexican-born, Paris-trained Rudolph Daus, who designed a number of prominent buildings in the area. Like other club houses of the time, the Lincoln Club was large and imposing with florid architectural features, including a massive "LC" carved in terra cotta at the top of the building's four stories.
In the years of the early twentieth century, many of Brooklyn's wealthiest residents moved to Manhattan and many of the social clubs began to decline. The Lincoln Club disbanded in 1931, and the building became the property of the Independent Order of Mechanics, a Masonic organization.
The Lincoln Club building is one of the only remaining social club buildings left in Brooklyn, and one of the most intact of Daus's designs. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
. Lincoln Club , Landmarks Preservation Commission . Accessed August 25th 2019. http://www.neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org/db/bb_files/1981LincolnClub.pdf.
Gray, Christopher. Social Clubs, Long Gone, Left Their Meeting Places Behind, New York Times . August 12th 2010. Accessed August 25th 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/realestate/15scapes.html.