a rich history
Built directly after the great fire of 1892, the historically rich and architecturally beautiful Masonic Temple in downtown St. John’s is 120 years old. This stunning building perched on a hill in the heart of the heritage district is stately and grand but up close you can see that this historic gem of brick, stone and copper is in desperate need of restoration. To protect the building against further erosion and to keep it preserved for years to come, the Masonic Restoration Project has been launched.
In 2008, The Masonic Temple became home to Spirit of Newfoundland, one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s longest running musical theatre companies. This group has committed to restoring it with a multi-faceted plan to raise $500,000 in capital. The plan includes the sale of souvenirs, 125 year old bricks, building and interior room naming rights, a concert series, international tour, a $4 restoration fee on all show tickets, among other activities.
The buildings’ features are reflective of the Classical Revival style, including three towers on front façade, pediments and pilasters on towers, columns and rounded arch on upper central tower, and heavy cornice belt course. Its construction is equally impressive with features reflective of Victorian-era Masonic Lodge construction, including one storey Corinthian columns capped with globes on main entrance, original interior ornate woodwork, trim, detailing and plasterwork, original main staircase, Masonic symbols and wording on centre tower, interior Masonic decoration and insignia, repeated use of arch motif throughout the interior, decorative bronze plaques and original cornerstone.
There is a time capsule set inside the visible cornerstone of the Masonic Temple that was laid in 1894 by Freemason and former Prime Minister, Sir William Whiteway. Inside the time capsule are coins, period newspapers and other artifacts and a second time capsule from the Mason's previous location.
HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE:
Phone: 709-579-3023 or toll free: 1-877-661-3023
By mail: Masonic Temple Restoration Project
6 Cathedral Street, St. John’s, NL, A1C-3Y3
Social media: #restoremasonic @spiritofnl