"The Monumental Undertaking of Moving Into an Old Masonic Temple" Discussion Thread

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I lived in the seven story Masonic Temple in Grand Island, Nebraska. I lived in the Knight’s Templar lodge on the 5th floor…about 4,000 sq feet. I rented the first floor to two commercial stores, the second and third had offices and residences. Also generated revenue from a cell phone tower atop the building. I left the massive Masonic Temple on the 6th and 7th floor empty hoping to install a restaurant and bar BUT the city would not give me a permit without an extensive fire exit system.Grande Venues

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Are the owners doing hydroponic gardening inside? Interesting story about reusing unique structures.

Lucky you ! Its happened to me in 1976, a 5 story loft building in Old Montreal Canada. Sold in 1982 at 5x cost. Its a beautiful building; save its architecture, they don’t make them like this anymore.
Consider making an art center or museum with the lower part ! One day you will sell it at 20x cost!

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What a fabulous building! The family really got a good deal when they purchased it. There are so many possibilities for the space and they have great ideas. I wish them well in their new home.

Nice to see it put to good use.
Steve Wojtak
Master Mason
Lodge #753

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I thought it might be interesting to hear the Cannizaro’s kids’ perspective. Do they enjoy it, do the kids have any unique ideas for what to do with this humongous home, how have they adapted?

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I was thinking the 3rd floor could be a great place to host community theater and music events! They mentioned wanting a music studio… love your idea for a museum on the first floor.

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My husband and I purchased a former Temple in Vermont. It was a private home built in 1820, purchased by the Masons in 1920. They tore down the outdoor kitchen and added an addition 1925-1928. We bought it in 2015 and have been renovating it every since.

I have had people stopping by when they see me out in the yard, talking about the time they attended a party, dinner or reception in the public hall. Former Lodge Members (most in their late 70s - early 80s) have asked if they could see what we have done to the Lodge. I have had claims that the building is haunted (never saw a ghost yet). As were were converting the meeting room into the Master bedroom and my husband’s home-office, we found receipts from membership dues, thank you notes, and other slips of paper that had fallen behind the risers. When we took up the rug, we found the board signed by the Masons in 1928 certifying that the building addition (except for adding the rug) was completed.

I won’t say how much we have spent on the renovations but it was more than 10 times the amount we paid for the building (30,000USD) - and we still haven’t finished.

We came close to doing the very same thing, but on a smaller sized former Masonic temple in a residential neighborhood. This was before I was made a Mason and the significance of so much of the architectural details were lost on me then. The biggest challenge to converting any of these fantastic buildings is converting large (And hard to heat in winter & cool in summer) spaces into more livable space.

Depending on how well or poorly they were maintained, the challenges can be daunting. But perseverance, an understanding bank, good contractors and some sweat equity can help keep these building in use and contributing to housing and possibly community needs, zoning and permitting allowing, for generations to come!

Warm regards,
Andrew Niemyer
Past Master Ionic Lodge #186, Duluth, MN

It would have been nice to see more of the work they’ve done than the library & that third floor!! I was hoping to see their use of normal family spaces: kitchen, bathroom, playroom, etc.