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Where is Indiana Freemason’s Hall?  It’s the beautiful limestone building you’ve undoubtedly passed countless times, heading north out of downtown at 525 North Illinois.

The least you should know:

The building was designed by the architecture firm of Rubush & Hunter in Ionic style and faced with Bedford Limestone with filled in windows facing north, east and south.

The cornerstone was placed in 1908 and the building dedicated in 1909.

It cost $461,000 to construct the building.

The dimensions are 130 x 150 feet on ground level and reaches 107 feet tall and 8 stories high.

The theater on first floor seats over 1100 and went unused from approximately 1963-2005. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the city!

There is 113,000 square feet of space within the building.

On display in the library

The Grand Lodge Library and Museum has recently been moved here from Franklin, Indiana and will soon introduce public visiting hours.

The building is not yet air conditioned, but a campaign is coming soon to add this modern amenity.

Multiple spaces within the building are available for rent!

15 different Masonic Lodges and affiliate organizations still meet here regularly.

Before the current location, the Masons home stood at the Southeast corner of Washington and Capitol–where the Hyatt now stands.

13 responses to “11 Things You Didn’t Know About Indy’s Freemasons Hall”

  1. Jennifer Herring says:

    I just watched your segment on WISH TV! Thanks so much for profiling a building and group that means so much to me and my family! Also thanks for using the quote we tell people all the the time.

    “We are a society with secrets not a secret society”

    This goes for all the Masonic bodies.

    Sincerely,

    Jennifer Herring
    Past Honored Queen, Job’s Daughter International
    Past Worthy Matron, Order to the Eastern Star

  2. Jim Dillman says:

    Tiffany, it was my pleasure to meet you and to conduct you on a tour of the building. We’re very happy to have had the opportunity to show off our beautiful building to the Indianapolis community. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be announcing information about public tours of the entire building as well as visiting hours for the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana. We invite everyone to pay us a visit. Thank you so much for your interest in Indiana Freemasons’ Hall and all of your great work with Historic Indianapolis.com

  3. Miriam says:

    Such a beautiful building. I have heard that the roof top was used for dances during the building’s heyday. Unfortunately, it’s become a popular location for collocation of cellular antennas in recent years!

  4. basil berchekas jr says:

    My Mother was active in the Order of the Eastern Star, which met in this building; used to help her set up meetings and dinners there a number of times; wonderful inside, just like it was described in this article (same with the article on the Scottish Rite Cathedral!)!

  5. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Jim, the Freemason’s of Indiana indeed have much to be proud of–this building is a treasure and I look forward to helping get the word out about upcoming visiting hours and getting people to discover gems like this within our city. Thanks to the Freemason’s for their stewardship of the building and for carrying on long-standing traditions! I’m so honored to have gotten to tour this with you and l look forward to seeing what the future holds for this spectacular space!

  6. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Thank you, Jennifer. I deeply appreciate the lengthy tenure and tradition of organizations such as the Freemason’s and affiliates such as Job’s Daughter International and Order to the Eastern Star. I have great-grandparents who were members, and I think it is heartening that such organizations still exist.

  7. Dave says:

    Please note that the while the building is old many younger Indianapolis area Masons are very active. The Masons are an organization dedicated to making men the best they can be – to their God, their family, and to their community. The Mason motto is “Faith, Hope, & Charity. Three things that never get old!

  8. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Agreed, Dave! Well said.

  9. Carol Titus says:

    Tiffany! Great job! If anyone takes a tour they should look at all the beautiful detail work in the rooms…greek key around the ceilings, archway entrances and the sheer size of some of the rooms…can you imagine speaking in front of a crowd in one of those rooms- and being heard in the back…with NO microphone? As a member of Job’s Daughters I have had that pleasure. I’ve spent many hours in this building and wish that I could have seen it in it’s heyday…

    Carol Titus
    Past Honored Queen, Past bethel Guardian, Recipient of the Degree of RoyalPurple, JDI
    Past Matron, Order of the Eastern Star

  10. Brad King says:

    Thanks Tiffany! Great coverage for a great old building. My dad was the Executive Secretary (read: General Manager) of the Scottish Rite Cathedral (across the street) from about 1990 – 2001. We have a long family history of Masonic involvement in Indianapolis. Freemason’s Hall has had a great history and many great days ahead. I didn’t know about the library…great to hear.

    Brad King

    Past Master Councilor, Order of DeMolay, Zion Chapter 1985
    Member, Millersville Lodge, Indianapolis

  11. Wm Stroup says:

    Tiffany – this is a great portfolio, I loved it. Even though I’m a member as well, I wasn’t even aware of the theatre… and I’ve been in the building.

    I wondered whether or not you might have an idea where I could locate a photo of one of the old Freemason lodges from the 20’s? Englewood Lodge #715 is now on Southern Ave. Prior to that, it was located where the Wheeler Mission is now. Before that, though, it was in a free-standing building downtown, which was destroyed in a tornado. The only photo’s of that building I know about are damage photos after that tornado.

    Any ideas?

  12. basil berchekas jr says:

    Will follow this one; my parents were members or visited the old Brightwood Lodge (closest to the house), Brookside Lodge (next closest) and Irvington Lodge (also nearby) as well as the Murat, Scottish Rite Cathedral, and my Mom was active in the Order of the Eastern Star downtown on Illinois Street.

  13. Anonymous says:

    2.5

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