The Masonic Temple was first built in 1922 and was located at 500 Temple Street between Second Avenue and Cass Avenue in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood, near downtown Detroit. The Masonic Temple was designed and built by George Mason in neo-gothic architecture and looks like something that would come out Gotham City. The exterior of the Masonic Temple is made of Indiana Limestone and features gargoyles, as well as other stone carvings of people, garlands, and other intricate details.
Measuring at over 12 million square feet, the Masonic Temple is the largest Masonic Temple in the world. The Masonic Temple is still an active Mason meeting hall, but is best known for hosting parties, concerts, and events. In all, there are 28 units in the building grouped into three major divisions: the ritualistic tower, the theater/auditorium and the Shrine Club. ritualistic tower at the Masonic Temple is the tallest section, measuring at 14 floors. This is where over a dozen differently designed Lodge Rooms were located. The Lodge Rooms all had different decorative treatment and the motifs of decoration were all taken from the Egyptian, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque. Each Lodge Room had it’s own unique style and decoration. The Masonic Temple also features a majestic lobby (designed by Corrado Parducci), the Masonic Theater (Main Theater), the Scottish-Rite Theater (Jack White Theater), the Crystal Ballroom, the Fountain Ballroom, the Oak Room, the Chapel, a swimming pool, a bowling alley, hand ball courts, a gymnasium, and a billiards hall. The Masonic Temple has almost 100 different rooms all together.in total. Today, most of the building is largely unused and certainly underused.
In 2013, the Masonic Temple was in deep trouble and facing closure because it owed money in back-taxes. Detroit-bred rocker, Jack White, played hometown hero and saved the Masonic Temple by paying off it’s back-taxes. The Masonic Temple is now doing better than ever. In June 2013, the Rolling Stone said this: Jack White has been outed as the anonymous or who paid the $142,000 in taxes needed by Detroit’s Masonic Temple to stave off FORECLOSURE, the Detroit Free Press reports today. The Temple’s Cathedral Theater will be renamed the Jack White Theater in the rocker’s honor. “Jack’s donation could not have come at a better time and we are eternally grateful to him for it, said Roger Sobran, president of the Detroit Masonic Temple Association. Jack’s magnanimous generosity and unflinching loyalty to this historic building and his Detroit roots is appreciated beyond words.”
The Masonic Temple is now doing better than ever. It is currently hosting concerts, plays, graduations, sporting events, theatrical productions, and other special events.