Too Cool - Buy A Old Masonic Temple

David Trammel's picture

Now I want to go looking for one in St Louis!

A family bought a 20,000-square-foot Freemason temple in Indiana for $89,000, and they're now turning it into their home. Take a look inside.

And its haunted too.

I wonder how big of a roof top garden you could put on that thing?

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

That certainly would make a sweet GW tower! This is an inspiration. I wonder how many big old buildings like this there are in the midwest that would sell for a similar price ... a family or group could buy one and retrofit it. I'm going to be sharing this article with some other people. Thanks for this David!

I wonder what their heating bill is in the winter though... of course, it's been in the 60s some here this January in Ohio. When there would have been a snow storm when I was a kid its now a weekend of showers.

You don't have to heat the entire building; just the parts you're using. The rest of the building only needs to be kept at 40 degrees so the pipes don't freeze.
While they're renovating, they can super-insulate.

Great idea to share the building; it's large enough to house 10 families at 2,000 square feet each!

Teresa from Hershey

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Good point about not having to heat the whole place. I'm sure they do like you said come to think of it. There are tons of old masonic buildings that lodges can't afford to have anymore. If I found one cheap as this I'd be tempted to sell our house and move into one. It would be great for a group of people or a group of families even as you said... and the businesses that could operate out of it.

ClareBroommaker's picture

There was one for sale near me. The sale sign was up for a couple years. I thought it must have sold, but I see on the city tax assessor website that it is still owned by the same company which has owned it for years. This company is somehow connected to restaurant business and I see they got an occupancy permit for office space. However, I imagine they use it for warehousing as well because it is so big.

Another local fraternal building has been turned into a theater. Now that building is huge! David, have you seen the several fraternal temples on Lindell Ave just west of St. Louis University? The theater is one of those. The Moolah Temple / Moolah Theater, I think. When I first came to this city those buildings amazed me. So solid, so huge, as if nothing could ever harm them. Very handsome buildings.

Not my own photo, but from yelp:

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ClareBroommaker's picture

Saw an article in newspaper about this Masonic temple turned theater and bowling alley. The businesses will be closing, so I suppose the building will be up for sale. Got $$$? Lots and Lots of $$$?

ClareBroommaker's picture

Almost forgot-- about 70 yards away from the urban lot we were trying to buy for making a pocket orchard there is an old lodge building of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

They are right on the railroad, so it is probably not surprising that their building has also come to be office and warehouse for a chemical company. The chemical company owns much of the commercial space in the area and does have factory/ chem plant facilities there.

When I first saw the building I was kind of charmed, though it is not nearly as impressive as the Mason and other big temples in town. A corner stone has the initials AOUW, which is how I was able to find out the origin of the building. It is built of our native clay red brick, but obviously has been painted. The area is ugly as sin, and you might think I'm crazy to have seen any charm in the building. But it remains to me a symbol of people doing what they could for themselves and for each other, knowing their own dignity in a life of hard work.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

I love both these buildings Clarebroommaker. Thanks for sharing them. The wiki on the Ancient Order of United Workmen was interesting too. It reminded me of an old ADR article on how Freemasons and these old unions and friendly societies would pool money to take care of widows, funerals, doctor bills etc. for their members. I was trying to find the article but couldn't without spending further time googling.

There are lots of treasures in our midwestern cities. Maybe some GW minded folks will eventually be able to snatch them up.