30 second video

 

Temple Avenue Main Lobby

Crystal Ballroom

Wedding Chapel
aka
Commandery Asylum

Pipe Organ in Commandery

Prelate's Apartment

English Tudor Lodge Room

Royal Arch Chapter Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 21 pictures above here are courtesy of Sir Knight Stan Wilson, Jr.

A wedding in the Chapel

Commandery Asylum
(aka the chapel)

Wedding reception in the Crystal Ballroom

Crystal Ballroom

 

Crystal Ballroom

Fountain Ballroom

 

Cathedral Theatre
1600 seats

 

Masonic Temple Theatre
4404 seats

Temple Avenue Lobby

Second Avenue Lobby

 

stair banister in main lobby

 

chandelier in main lobby

 

light in main lobby

 

light in the Royal Arch Chapter room on second floor

 

Second Avenue lobby light

 

Second Avenue lobby light

 

woodwork in the English Tudor lodge room

 

Greek Ionic Lodge Room

 

Corinthian Lodge Room

 

 

Romanesque Lodge Room East

 

Corinthian Lodge Room, another ceiling panel

 

Corinthian Lodge Room side wall panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT GREAT LAKES AERIAL & LEGAL, D.Coles, 1980 ~ 2008 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
above photo may not be copied without permission of D. Coles.

 

 

The Masonic Temple Association of Detroit started building their new temple on Temple Ave on Thanksgiving Day, 1920. Tens of thousands of Masons and citizens assembled at 500 Temple Ave for the turning of the first spade of dirt. This is the spade that was used. The handle is fine hand carved wood and has a small plaque on the handle. It reads: "In Memoriam of our Brother's who died in the World War. This spade is presented by the Wayne County Masters Association to the Detroit Masonic Temple Association for the turning of the sod for the new Masonic Temple. November 25, 1920."

 

On September 18, 1922, thousands of Masons and visitors again assembled at 500 Temple Ave. This time it was to have the cornerstone laying that was performed by the Grand Lodge of Michigan. President Warren G. Harding was to attend and assist, but a few days before the event, the first lady was taken sick and President Harding had to cancel. He sent Brother Edwin F. Denby, Secretary of the Navy, to assist our Grand Master. For the ceremonial, we were able to borrow the trowel that President and Brother George Washington used to lay the corner stone of the US Capital. But we also used a trowel that was to stay in our archives. That trowel is pictured above left.

On our trowel, is engraved: "This trowel was used by Clark W. McKenzie, M.W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan and Edwin F. Denby, Secretary of the Navy, appointed by Warren G. Harding, President of the United States as his representative on the occasion of the laying of the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan. September Eighteenth, 1922."

The other two pictures show the other items used in the cornerstone laying ceremonial. The vases are for the oil, wine, and water. Engraved on all three of them is "The Grand Lodge of F&AM of Michigan". They were a gift to the Masonic Temple Association of Detroit from Grand Lodge. The square and Compass do not have any words engraved on them.

We also have a large wooden square and a large wooden plumb that was used that day, which I have not photographed yet.

 

In 1929 we received this award from the Detroit Chapter of American Institute of Architects. The plaque is readable as pictured here. The medal on the front around the rim says "Award of Honor, American Institute of Architects, Detroit Chapter. The reverse side (not shown) says "Awarded to the Masonic Temple Association in recognition of the Architectural Merit of the Detroit Masonic Temple. George D. Mason & Co. Architect's 1928.

The medal came with the plaque, but I can not explain that one says 1928 and the other says 1929.

 

Below are 7 pictures of the Detroit Masonic Temple under construction. They are dated from November 1922 to May 1923.

 

 

These first 3 pictures are of the temple in steel with the stone beginning to be put in place. The first two are of the corner at Temple and Second Ave. The third is the front on Temple Ave. In the middle of the third picture it appears that the under ground level driveway is in place but the stairs and porch above it is just a couple of steel girders. Above that appears to be the framing for the main doors to the theatre. Below that would be the first basement.

 

The next two pictures appear to the base of the seating for the main theatre. To me it looks like it is a ground floor, But we know there is a ballroom under this and a subbasement under that.

 

I do not know what part of the temple the final two pictures are. The only clue I see is some buildings in the background. So I could guess that this could be the area under the stage and the building would be the apartment building that was behind the temple.

 

 

 

 

 

The following pictures are assorted shots of furniture in different areas of the Masonic Temple. I want to show the detail and variety of some types of furniture.

How is this for a long table?

We have benches in many sizes and color. Most are 82 to 114 years old. The 7 lodge rooms, the Royal Arch Chapter room, and he Commandery Asylum are all lined with long padded benches. Each room has them sized and carved to fit the room. See example 4 rows below.

 

 

 

We have many long tables like these 4, all around the temple.

 

Lodge room side benches

 

This was a pay phone booth, back in the years when pay phones were popular. We have over a dozen of these.

 

Beautiful floor lamp

 

 

This is a carving in one of the lodge chairs in the East. Most lodge rooms have these.

 

I show this because this entire wall was taken out of the old Masonic Temple and put here. It was hand carved in 1894.

Hand carved wood above the SW 's chair

 

 

All but one of the lodge rooms have a balcony with stairs to the balcony inside the lodge room. The steps are 3-5-7.

 

 

 

JW's chair

 

For post card pictures go to the Souvenirs page.

 

 

Copyright 2009 R. Spice