"There were a number of Scandinavian clubs and groups at the time, but they had been polarized for so many years, and many of the clubs were barely hanging on," said Thor Fjell, an independent sales representative from Naperville and president of the Scandinavian American Cultural Society. "Reaching out to the entire Scandinavian community, pooling our resources and creating a centralized headquarters allowed the clubs to survive, at least for today and hopefully a lot of tomorrows."
The Dania Society; the Danish American Athletic Club; the Normennenes Singing Society, a male chorus whose members sing the songs of Norway; and the Skjold Lodge No. 100 Sons of Norway, a social club dedicated to promoting and preserving the culture and heritage of Norway, purchased the former Elks Lodge in Arlington Heights, along the frontage road east of Illinois Highway 53 and north of the Palatine Road exit. Flying in front are six flags: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and the United States.
Why Arlington Heights? "The Scandinavian population was moving northwest from various Chicago neighborhoods, and many Scandinavians were living in towns like Park Ridge, Mt. Prospect and Palatine," Fjell said. "Arlington Heights seemed like a good central location, and it's worked out very well for us."
Along with the four clubs that own the facility, a smorgasbord of Scandinavian-related groups congregates at the headquarters for various activities. These include the Torski Social Club, a group that gathers monthly for Scandinavian-style fish boils; the Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic and Swedish Chambers of Commerce; the Chicago Swedish Glee Club and the Norwegian Seaman's Club, a group of World War II veterans. Scandinavian Airlines also holds corporate functions at the headquarters.
ref. Chicago Tribune