Volume LIVNovember 2007Number 4

Masonic Temple Restoration & Preservation Project

The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, home of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, has embarked on an extensive and monumental historical restoration and preservation project, with an expected completion date of October 2008.

Originally constructed over a five-year period (1868-1873), at a thenstaggering cost of $1.6 million, the Masonic Temple was designed by the prominent architect, Bro. James H. Windrim. Another 35 years were required by dedicated and respected artisans to perfect the grandeur of the interior features.

Located at the cultural and physical heart of Philadelphia, the Masonic Temple has undergone regular maintenance over the years. The restoration and preservation of such a wonderful structure, however, is an enormous project requiring careful planning and skillful work. To return the entire exterior of the Masonic Temple to its original 19th century grandeur, The Masonic Library and Museum has commissioned an $8 million project which will:
  • Repair the roof, the most integral part of the project, as it protects the rest of the building and treasures within
  • Re-point, thoroughly clean and return exterior granite to its pristine 19th century luster
  • Restore the existing entrance ways and the doors to their original condition
  • Restore the original castiron fence and gates
The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia Restoration & Preservation Project Kickoff Ceremony was held on Aug. 24, 2007, at 10 a.m. The event included opening remarks from Andrew A. Zellers-Frederick, Executive Director, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania; prayers offered by Bro. and Rev. William D. Hartman, Grand Chaplain; the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Bro. Mark A. Haines, R.W. Grand Secretary; the performance of "America" and "America the Beautiful" by Bro. W. William Melnyck, bagpiper, member of Springfield- Hanby Lodge No. 767; and a project fiscal update by Bro. Jeffrey W. Coy, R.W. Grand Treasurer.

Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, said, "The Grand Lodge is grateful for the dedication of its membership to the goals of this endeavor. As Freemasons, it is our inherent responsibility to maintain and glorify what our forefathers built and entrusted to us. It is our legacy to future generations."

Remarks also were offered by Randal Baron, Assistant City Historic Preservation Officer, Philadelphia Historical Commission; John A. Gallery, Executive Director, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia; Darla Sidles, Acting Superintendent, Independence National Historical Park; and Nancy A. Goldenberg, Vice President of Planning, Center City District.

Immediately following the program, guests were invited to the Grand Banquet Hall for light refreshments and for a tour of the Masonic Temple.

"A number of us have dreamt the dream of initiating and following through on this vital project," Grand Master Aungst said. "It's wonderful to see it come about through our brethren not only sharing the dream, but turning it into reality."

Table of Contents | Index of Issues | Home