The Masonic Temple may be a jewel in the right place at the right time
The Masonic Temple seems proud of its splendor and history. When it was completed in 1926, it was the largest building of its kind in the world.
Brad Dizik, Special Advisor to the Masonic Temple Board of Directors, told us the architect was a very famous one named George Mason.
And Mason designed a building for the ages. While many of us think of the Masonic as an entertainment venue, the temple is so much more. It is 500,000 square feet with 1037 rooms and long magnificent hallways connecting them all.
Steve Genther, Masonic Temple General Manager says, “ It is a lot of work and the staff works really hard to make sure we take care of all the things we have here for the guests but it’s an outstanding venue and everything that was built here was first class.”
That includes the main auditorium which has been the stage for dozens of plays and concerts.
A second large auditorium is named for benefactor Jack White. And there’s even a third auditorium that was never finished.
Dizik says the main purpose of this building, however, is to house the Masons of the City of Detroit.
There are eight lodge rooms, each designed in a different style. They are used for lodge meetings, but can also be rented by other groups for gatherings.
The Commandary Asylum is regularly used for weddings.
And receptions are held in the fountain ballroom or the larger, more ornate crystal ballroom.
About a dozen movies have been filmed within the walls of the Masonic temple.
And the building’s drill hall is used for Detroit roller derby…with the derby girls having their practices and season games at the Masonic.
Recently the temple has had trouble paying its bills. Singer-songwriter Jack White wrote a check for $142,000 to help pay off back taxes.
But, the announcement of a new stadium and entertainment district being constructed nearby has made the temple’s future much brighter.
Dizik says, “When you consider the Detroit Masonic Temple get excited, get pumped. W e has a lot of very exciting announcements and plans in the works for the next 2-3 years.”
This building may soon house restaurants, shops, perhaps even apartments or a boutique hotel. This jewel, that has for so long been underutilized, may soon be courting investors.
Dizik invites, “Come be a part of the Temple, come be a part of Detroit’s future.”