|Volume LV||November 2008||Number 4|
MASONIC TEMPLE METAMORPHOSIS
Be prepared to be "wow"ed!
"This generation of Masons has given something to tomorrow's generation.
One hundred years from now, it's my hope they'll look back and say, 'They did a nice job.'"
- Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master
Most of the scaffolding on the side of the Masonic Temple facing JFK Boulevard and City Hall has been removed, and the result of the restoration work on the building is absolutely stunning.
Executive Director of the Library and Museum of Pennsylvania Andrew A. Zellers- Frederick describes the building as "emerging from its cocoon."
The granite has been power-washed, and according to Bro. Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master, the result is, "Wow! It's so much brighter than I'd expected. It looks like it did 135 years ago when the building was dedicated."
The scaffolding over the Broad Street (west) side of the building started coming down in sections in September. According to Zellers- Frederick, the remainder of the scaffolding is scheduled to be removed by December.
"Watching this evolution has been amazing... now that the layers of paint on the handcarved woodwork and the stonework have been removed and freshly repainted, you can see the detail of the artistry, the leaves on the columns..." Grand Master Gardner said.
The keystones above the windows have been replaced into their proper position and repointed. The windows look magnificent, and the roof is being repainted.
"The artists of today have restored what the artists 135 years ago gave us," Grand Master Gardner said. "It's a complete metamorphosis... they found the beauty hidden underneath and restored its pristine appearance."
Bro. Danny Hinds, Superintendent for the Masonic Temple, climbs the scaffolding frequently to see the work being done by J.J. DeLuca. "The building is shining... it looks fantastic," he said.
Once the scaffolding on the walkway in front of the building is cleared, work on a new fence and the sidewalk paving will begin. The project should be completed in early 2009.
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