by Tommy on 30/03/10 at 5:26 pm
Dedicated November 25, 1926, this 1037 room, 14 story building was unique among Masonic buildings because all of the various Masonic bodies were housed in the same structure. As of 2006, it became a York Rite Masonic Temple. We currently are the home to 9 Masonic lodges, 2 Royal Arch Chapters, a Council of Royal and Select Masons and Detroit Commandery No. 1 Knights Templar. The Detroit Masonic Temple also houses the national offices of the Sovereign York Rite College of North America.
There are some twelve million cubic feet of space, making it the largest and most complex building of its kind in the world.
The first shovel of dirt was turned on Thanksgiving Day 1920 and the Corner Stone was placed on September 18, 1922. George Washington’s own working tools were brought from Virginia to be used for the ceremony.
The Temple was formally dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1926. Thousands gathered for the formal ceremony and consecration by the Grand Lodge of Michigan.
There are seven Craft Lodge Rooms – all having different decorative treatments, the motifs of decoration being taken from the Egyptian, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque. The rooms are all true to the period. All of the art work throughout the building, especially the beautifully decorated ceilings was done under the personal direction of famous Italian artists. There is also a Royal Arch room, and a Commandery Asylum.
The Cathedral has a seating capacity of 1600 and its fully equipped stage with a width of 64 feet from wall to wall and a depth of 37 feet from the foot lights. The Cathedral is a beauty spot of the Temple, made rich by carvings and color work which is most effectively carried out in the ceiling.
In the center portion of the Temple is located the auditorium or public portion of the structure. In this section of the building on the third floor mezzanine is the mammoth drill hall, comprising 17,500 square feet of open floor space. The drill hall is used by Detroit Commandery. As of 2006, the Drill Hall is also the home of the Detroit Derby Girls Roller Team. This drill hall is equipped with one of three floating floors in the United States; that is, the entire floor is laid on felt cushions. This type of construction provides more or less give to the floor which tends to relieve the marchers.
Immediately under the drill hall is the main theatre. The Detroit Masonic Theatre is one of the finest public halls in the United States, having a seating capacity of 4404. Because of its arrangement, there is a very intimate contact between the audience and stage. A great deal of careful study was given to the acoustical treatment of this room which has produced an auditorium where the hearing qualities are perfect from every seat. The stage of the auditorium is the second largest in the United States, having a width between walls of 100 feet and a depth from the curtain line of 55 feet.