Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sights and Places: Salt Lake City Masonic Temple

Even though I've been to Salt Lake City more than I can count, I've never taken the chance to visit the Masonic Temple. It wasn't until some of my Brothers came back from a Scottish Rite meeting. They said it was a very beautiful building so I had to add it to my list of places to talk about.

According to its website, it was completed in 1927 and dedicated to George Washington. It is located along South Temple Street. It houses a great deal of Masonry as it holds the Grand Lodge of Utah, F&AM; Orient of Utah, AASR; Grand York Rite bodies of Utah; El Kalah Shrine; the Grand bodies for all of the Masonic youth groups, and 6 Masonic Lodges. The building consists of lounges, Great and Lesser Halls, a Banquet Room, an auditorium, four Lodge rooms, and administrative offices.

The Temple proper is three stories high, starting at the first floor, and rests on a base or ground story. These three stories are significant of the three degrees of Masonry, and contain all of the tiled or ritualistic rooms. The ground floor has non-ritualistic rooms for administration offices, banquet room, etc.

Entrance to the Temple proper is gained by ascending three, five, seven steps and nine steps. For strict adherence, three, five and seven might be more appropriate, but practical considerations demanded a greater number of steps and additional steps were added in the number nine, which also has considerable Masonic significance, being the cub of the first number three and sometimes, but not always, being assigned as the number of rungs of the mythical Jacob?s ladder reaching to heaven.
From the website:
Each room is adorned uniquely bringing to Salt Lake City artistic and architectural influences from Renaissance Italy, Colonial Virginia, Egyptian Temples, 14th Century English Courts, and Moorish Spain.
The planning for erecting this building came about in 1920 as a result of the previous temple not being able to hold the capacity of members. By 1925 the land had been purchased, and the details of interior furnishings were in the process of finalization.

During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Temple was re-dedicated in a public ceremony.

Free public tours are available by prior arrangement between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

Here are some pictures of the building:

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