Volume LIIINovember 2006Number 4

Masonic Temple Project Updates

As a National Historic Landmark, the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia is a precious gem for both the fraternity and the community. To continue its role as a public and culturally visible image, the 133-year old architectural wonder requires perpetual care and renovations.

Since Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., has encouraged donations to the Temple Initiative, many individuals and lodges have responded generously, making many of the much-needed repairs and restorations possible. The photo and caption below demonstrate an example of needed restoration made possible through your generous contributions. Members of the brotherhood and the general public should expect nothing less than a beautiful, elegant entrance when they visit. The Masonic Temple's Broad Street entryway now includes a handcrafted mahogany desk to serve as a welcome, orientation and security station.

The roof and interior climate of the Temple need upgrades in order to preserve the treasures inside and out. High humidity levels are causing damage and decay to the building's architecture, resulting in the collapse of sections of ceiling and plaster. Mold has been found on pieces within the museum and library collections.

The Committee on Temple is recommending positive action be taken on the building's original 19th century construction as quickly as possible. Included in the installations are several makeup air units with digital controls and sensors to control humidity and specialized cells that will attack airborne mold particles.

The Grand Banquet Room and Corinthian Hall require sound system improvements, so the Temple can continue to offer an effective space for public events. Upgrades will implement current technology and allow for future enhancements. Wireless handheld microphones will be added to each room, but only the microphone being addressed will activate, minimizing poor audio from multiple open microphones. The Grand Banquet Room will also receive additional speakers to improve coverage.

Members of Concordia Lodge No. 67 recently were able to see, first-hand, their generous contribution to the Temple initiative being used toward the refurbishment of the 77 benches in Corinthian Hall.

Left to right: R. W. Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., Carl Zapf, W. M., Dale H. Fera, P. D. D. G. M., LeRoy o. McClellan, P. M. (all members of Concordia Lodge No. 67) listen to Abe Reichbach, of Summerdale Mills Fabric & Home Decorating Center, as he explains the stages of work being performed on the furniture.

Photo taken by Dennis Buttleman, Curator, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania.

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