Masonic landmark turns 100

June 12, 2009
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Indiana FreemasonMasonic groups this weekend will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Indiana Freemasons' Hall, formerly the Indianapolis Masonic Temple, at 525 N. Illinois St. The 1909 building has new exterior lighting to make it stand out, rooms have been freshly painted and decorated, and new policies now make it more accessible to the public than at any time in its history, said Christopher L. Hodapp, a member of the board of directors of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association. The building contains four Masonic lodge rooms, three ceremonial chapter rooms, social halls, two ballrooms, and a 600-seat auditorium that has been recently opened to the public for concerts and community theater. It is home to 10 Masonic lodges and 8 related groups. A capital improvement campaign is planned for the building to add air-conditioning and to modernize the stage, auditorium and kitchen, Hodapp said. The rededication ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. June 13 and include a speech by Congressman Dan Burton. The building will be open to the public after the ceremony.
  • Cool!

    Great news about the auditorium being opened for concerts and community theater.
  • Cool building. This city likes its lights doesn't it?
  • Great news, but I have to throw in a barb. Notice how the groundfloor isn't that open.
  • creepy.
  • I like the lights a lot. Yes we do like our buildings with lights. I wish we could get a nice forty story skyscraper with a well lit top to add to the collection of small structures that light up.
  • everything in that post is awesome except the dan burton part
  • everything in that post is awesome except the dan burton part

  • It really is a wonderful building. I hope that it lasts another 100 years. I cant wait for the festivities tomorrow. Come check it out.
  • Notice how the groundfloor isn’t that open.

    Because it is a Masonic Temple? If you have ever noticed, most of them are built very similarly. Because they were not to be public buildings, but secretive ceremonial places.

    That said, it is good that they are making it more accessible. Many of these buildings have some of the most beautiful architecture but are not open for the public to enjoy. Scottish Rite and the Murat Shrine Temple were an examples. Now both are much more open and we are richer for it.
  • Interior photos are on their website at
  • Exterior lighting is an eyesore, light pollution and a waste of our energy resources. Please turn out the lights. Otherwise a nice building though.
  • They are LEDs and consume comparatively little power.
  • Several years ago I had the pleasure of a private tour of the building. Awesome. Except for the (now restored) auditorium it was in great shape and almost entirely in it's original appearance. The building is so much larger than it appears - 8 stories inside. Incredible room in high Egyptian styling! And half-dozen pipe organs in the lodge rooms. Take a few minutes and look at the 40 photos on the website. Click on them to enlarge. Be sure to look at the Red Cross room....not what you expect.
  • A guy drives through Broad Ripple Avenue Saturday night with a blue LED kit under his car, it just clues everybody in this is a nitwit d-bag. Take that blue LED light from under his car and stick them in a row of windows of a building it means the same thing.
  • Take another look -- those aren't windows.

    And take another look on July 4 -- when they'll be red, white, and blue.

    And finally: If you really want to lower light pollution, how about asking the city to tone down those streetlights? :)
  • The lights look great & I'm glad it'll be open more to the community now. It's a great historic asset to have.
  • Interesting thing going on with the Freemasons these days. Guys in their 20s are finding the fraternity on the Internet and joining. But the Boomers just retiring in their 60s are finding it too (sometimes at the instigation of their sons or grandsons).

    Seven years ago, a group tried to sell this building for a million bucks. The new Temple Board has put a stop to that and has turned FM Hall around. Sure, there's lots to be done and a long capital campaign needed to do it, but when you see the old Knights of Pythias building on Meridian hasn't had knights in it for well over half a century, and the Odd Fellows tower at Penn and Washington hasn't had an Odd Fellow meeting in its old top floor auditorium since the 1960s, to see the Masons still using their temple building for the purpose it was built a century ago is pretty impressive.
  • Talk about an architectural gem. I don't usually like unnecessary lighting, but I think the LED system helps distinguish the building during the evening hours. Can't wait to go visit this beautiful building! I should have planned my wedding reception here!
  • Why is Dan Burton speechifying there? That isn't his district.

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