Greensboro Masonic Temple

Early Masonic Halls in Greensboro, North Carolina

Photo of Masonic Hall on third Floor of Greensboro National BankMasonic Hall on third Floor of Greensboro National BankBefore constructing a permanent temple, Masons in Greensboro met in several different locations. In 1886 they leased the third floor of the Mendenhall Building on Elm Street for $75 per year. They met there until 1889, when they rented the third floor of the Greensboro National Bank at the corner of South Elm and East Washington Streets.

On April 23, 1908, the Masons left the bank building and rented a hall in the Jones-Taylor Building at the corner of Elm and West Gaston Streets (now Friendly Ave). Several Masonic organizations met on the second floor until November 8, 1928.

Building the Greensboro Masonic Temple

Proposed Temple Facade by John B. CrawfordArchitect John B. Crawford, a member of Corinthian Lodge No. 542, A.F. & A.M., submitted a half-dozen proposed renderings for the Greensboro John B CrawfordMasonic Temple all with references to classical Temples. He wrote, “The idea for the exterior of the Greensboro Temple was taken from the West Elevation of the Erechtheion at Athens.” Crawford believed, “A building designed to be used as a Masonic Temple should be dignified, of good proportions, built of the best materials, and carefully planned to suit the purposes of the fraternity.”

The Cornerstone of the Greensboro Masonic Temple

Arrangements to secure a cornerstone for the new Temple began in 1926, when the architect John B. Crawford tried to obtain a 24” x 42” x 12” stone from King Solomon’s Quarries in Jerusalem. A letter to Crawford explains the difficulty in obtaining a stone of these dimensions.

March 20, 1928 Laying of cornerstone under direction of Raymond C. Dunn, the Grand Master of North Carolina Masons and Past Grand Master Frank P. Hobgood (standing).“The men worked at it for a very long time, until the piece was almost disengaged; then without warning, it cracked and fell over on the ground, just escaping falling on one of the quarriers. As the crack took off the corner, this piece had to be abandoned and a new one sought. The second entailed much more work than the first; but it finally was ready to be put on the back of an exceptionally strong camel who had been trained to work in the eternal night of Solomon’s Quarries.”

On January 14, 1928 construction began on the new Temple and three months later the building’s corner stone was laid on March 20, 1928.  Located at 424 West Market Street, the site near the home of short-story writer William Sidney Porter, the Greensboro Masonic Temple was dedicated by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, A.F. & A.M. on November 20, 1928.

During construction and for several years afterwards, the Greensboro Masonic Temple Company came close to losing the building.  A memorial plaque in building’s lobby lists the names of 30 individuals whose contributions prevented that from happening.

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