Volume LVMay 2008Number 2

Masonic Temple Receives State Grants

The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania recently received two grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

The first is an $8,500 general operating grant to assist the daily historical interpretive and educational programs conducted within this historic building. The grant enabled the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania to increase the availability of its professional guide staff for additional public tours, programs and events. The Masonic Temple now offers as many as five scheduled tours on weekdays, with additional programs added for large or special groups, and three on Saturdays due to the support received from this state grant. In 2008, visitation will easily exceed 15,000 individuals, which is approximately a 25 percent increase over 2007.

The second is a prestigious Keystone Historic Preservation Grant in the amount of $85,000. In August 2007, it was announced at a public ceremony that the Masonic Temple will undergo an estimated $8-10 million exterior stabilization, preservation and restoration of the building exterior including the roof, granite walls, windows and original 19th century cast iron fence. A special cleaning will be conducted of all exterior surfaces and accessibility to the historic structure will be improved. These state funds will be used to specifically match the dollars budgeted for the building's roof which, upon completion in 2008, will ensure the Masonic Temple remains solidly protected from the elements for many generations.

Throughout most of 2008, the Masonic Temple will be encased in scaffolding to facilitate all of the needed work. When the building emerges from this covering, it will be solidly restored for at least another century and have a pristine appearance not seen for many decades.

"We are grateful to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for the confidence they have demonstrated in our abilities with their generous support," said Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania Executive Director Andrew Zellers- Frederick. "The Masonic Temple is now taking its rightful place as one of the architectural jewels of Center City Philadelphia," available for public visitation.

The Masonic Temple is located at One North Broad Street directly across from Philadelphia City Hall. The building is wheelchair accessible and located near all forms of public transportation. For additional hours and information, please call (215) 988-1900 or visit online at www.pagrandlodge.org.

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