Monday, June 25, 2012

Masonic Temple Then & Now

I haven't done a 'Then and Now' of any Lorain landmarks for a while (I'm running out of easy-to-locate subject matter), so here's one that every Lorainite should recognize.

It's a vintage postcard of the Masonic Temple at Washington Avenue and Fourth Street. It was the home of Lorain Lodge #552.

The building was planned in an exact proportion of King Solomon's temple, and is constructed of terra cotta, brick, marble, concrete and steel. It's 60 feet high and 132 feet deep with a frontage of 55 feet. Construction took one year.

The main floor featured an auditorium and gallery. The lodge rooms were on the second floor, and the organ loft was on the third.

It was dedicated during the weekend of October 15-16, 1927. A huge celebration accompanied the unveiling of the building, including a parade on Sunday afternoon featuring many visiting lodges from other parts of Ohio.

Here's the "now" photo.

As I've mentioned a few times before, my grandfather was a Mason. For years, every time I passed this building I thought of him and also of following in his fraternal footsteps. Plus I really wanted to see the inside of that building!

Alas, the building was eventually sold and Lodge 552 was combined with Sheffield Lodge #628 to form the Black River Lodge #786.

Building detail
Today the building is home to New Life Deliverance Ministries.

Bill Fobell, one of the members of Lodge 552, passed away recently. Bill was a nice guy who used to chat with me where he worked as a cutter in the meat department at the then Giant Eagle in Sheffield Lake in the late 1990s. He did a lot to convince me of the merits of becoming a Mason.


Jerry A. McCoy said...

A very attractive building.

So, did you ever become a Mason?

Dan Brady said...

I petitioned to join and was a few weeks into the process but I decided to postpone it. I had some issues going on that made me concerned that I couldn't devote the proper time and make the needed commitment. So I reluctantly pulled the plug on my application. Some day I hope to try again.