Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Sights and Places: Dayton Masonic Center

Another beautiful Masonic building lies in the State known as the "Mother of Presidents". Lying near the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Masonic Center stands a very impressive structure sitting on a large property that is beautifully landscaped. It was built by an association established by 14 Masonic groups. It took nearly 3-years to complete using around 450-workers total (many of whom were Masons themselves) and, today, would cost around $40-million. The ground was broken on July 20th, 1925, the cornerstone was laid on May 19th, 1926, and the building was opened on April 1st, 1928.

Prior to this building, the Dayton Masons were located at a renovated Lutheran church that they purchased in 1903. In 1913, there was a massive flood that damaged their old Lodge room so they were looking for a new location. That and they were also running out of space to accommodate every Lodge and Masonic groups. They purchased land that was higher up and safe from floods in the form of the Stoddard Mansion; the Stoddard family was a car manufacturer that went bankrupt and had to sell the mansion.


The building measures 265-feet long, 190-feet wide, and 80-feet high. It is composed of steel, cement, and stone. The stone includes 55,000 cubic feet of Bedford Stone as well as 15,000 cubic feet of hard limestone and marble from Vermont, Alabama, and Tennessee which took 20 train carloads to transport. The marble was used for the interior floors, wainscotings, partitions, and stairways. The building was designed to incorporate Grecian-style architecture. Land was later purchased that was converted to a parking lot that can hold roughly 250-vehicles


Entry Hall

The Dayton Masonic Center houses a number of impressive rooms to include the Schiewetz Auditorium which has 1500 seats. This auditorium would be used for large initiation ceremonies for groups such as the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.


Entrance to the Auditorium


View of the stage


View from the stage

For use by the York Rite, specifically the Knights Templar, there is the Templar Room which is covered with rich colors and woodwork and can seat up to 200.


The Templar Room

They have a number of Lodge rooms, but I am only showing you one which has been described as the most beautiful in the building.


A Blue Lodge

It also holds a library that I think is beautifully furnished.



The last room is the Ballroom which is used for a number gala events and can be rented out for a number of public or private events.


The Ballroom prepared for a wedding

I hope one day to visit this location and get a tour.

Reference

1. Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Masonic_Center 

2. Dayton Masonic Center Video Tour. (2018, April 22). Retrieved from Freemasons for Dummies: https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2018/04/dayton-masonic-center-video-tour.html 

3. History. (n.d.). Retrieved from Dayton Masonic Foundation: http://daytonmasonicfoundation.org/history/ 

4. S2: The Masonic Temple. (n.d.). Retrieved from Decoding Dayton: https://indigo.life/decoding-dayton/the-masonic-temple/ 

5. The Dayton Masonic Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.daytonmasoniccenter.org/

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