Masonic Temple, 314 M.A.C. Ave. (1916) NR
Masonic Temple, November 2003. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.
Fifty-three local Masons organized in 1915 and were chartered on May 24, 1916, as Lodge № 480, Free and Accepted Masons. They immediately hired Lansing architect Samuel D. Butterworth, a fellow Mason, to design a meeting hall. Butterworth’s design, a four-story Italianate brick building, “was constructed at a cost of over $14,000. The Temple was used by such social organizations as the Odd Fellows, Good Fellows, and Eastern Star.”[Landmark Walking Tour]
Today it is overshadowed by the nearby hotel complex, but when it was completed in 1916 the Masonic Temple stood tall and virtually alone on M.A.C. Avenue. After standing vacant for many years, the structure was sold by the Masons in 1986 to a private developer, who immediately gutted the interior but proved unable to convert the space for retail use. In 1998 another developer purchased and rehabilitated the building as office and residential space. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, its historical marker erected in 2001.