Polish Falcons of America, Nest 2
Submitted by rjkoziel on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:57
This building is the old location of Nest 2 (or "lodge 2") of the Polish Falcons of America, and thus one of the first Falcon nest halls in America. The building was sold in 1970 following declining membership.
The Polish Falcons of America is a Polish-American fraternal organization now headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The organization is a direct descendant of the Czech and Polish Sokol ("Falcon") movements that originated in the 1860s under German/Austrian rule. The Falcons were devoted to physical fitness and physical education and thus functioned as a quasi athletic-political society. The Polish Falcons "intended to regenerate the Polish nation through disciplined physical fitness, preparing the nation for eventual independence." Therefore, the primary goal of the organization was to simultaneously promote Polish independence and physical fitness in America.
The first American lodge was organized by Felix L. Pietrowicz in Chicago in 1887. For decades, the Polish Falcons of America was one of the most influential and significant of all the Polish-American fraternal organizations. After the outbreak of the First World War, the Falcons adopted a program of para-military training and over 25,000 Falcon-trained Polish Americans eventually joined the Polish Army in France (which was originally created in North America). Although much smaller today, the Falcons still offers benefits, insurance services and cultural/athletic events to its 23,000 Members located throughout the United States.
The Falcons motto is "w zdrowym ciele zdrowy duch" (a sound mind in a sound body).