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The National Block was built in 1878 by Frank Jones, a prominent Portsmouth merchant and business leader and one of the wealthiest people in America. The high-quality masonry brick and brownstone details of 40 Congress Street resulted in one of the finest examples of brick masonry buildings of the era.

In later years, the fraternal organization, the Odd Fellows, occupied the National Block’s upper floors (their name still appears on the building’s façade). When the Odd Fellows moved out in 1989, the building’s interior was gutted and renovated with the installation of insulation and modern heating, air conditioning, electrical and mechanical systems, two stairs and an elevator.

 
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