Springfield Masonic Lodge to host rare open house

This fall, The Springfield Masonic Temple, one of Springfield’s most historic buildings, will be open to the public.

The Springfield Masonic Temple is located at 125 W. High St. and will be open for tours during Holiday in the City on from 3-8 p.m. Nov. 28.

This rare open house will allow anyone interested in the history of Springfield and the important role of fraternal organizations to see this outstanding building.

Throughout the early days of Springfield, fraternal organizations played a vital role in the community, providing social support for members in need, support for community activities and an opportunity for members to engage in social activities. Consistent with the values of Freemasonry, many activities involved were designed for the improvement of the community as well.

A survey of the Springfield Masonic Temple lobby will reveal bronze plaques listing the names of many of Springfield’s leaders. These giants of industry who founded and owned many of the companies that made Springfield famous in the late 19th century were members of the local Masonic lodges. Springfield even had the honor of having the Hon. Harry Graham, a long-time juvenile and probate court judge, serving as Grandmaster of Masons in 1932.

The Springfield Masonic Temple was designed by Howard Dwight Smith and the firm of Miller & Reeves. Smith and this firm are known around the world for their excellent designs integrating classical elements of architecture. Smith is best known in central Ohio as the architect and designer of the Ohio State University football stadium, often called “The Horseshoe.”

This building is one of many examples that is specifically designed and purposely built for Masonic activities. The rooms, the decorations and all aspects of this building are specifically designed to create a space where rituals, ceremonies and social activities can dominate the events held in this building. Such buildings were quite common throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this particular example is one of the finest in the state of Ohio.

The Springfield Masonic Temple has been used by local Lodges of Freemasons and other related organizations since its completion in 1927. Over the years, it has been well preserved, remaining in its original condition with 97 percent of the architectural and decorative elements preserved.

The Springfield Masonic Temple was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. In nominating the temple for inclusion on the register, the Ohio Historical Society highlighted its significance as the home of the oldest fraternal organization in Springfield with Masonic Lodges meeting in Springfield since 1818.

During this open house, guided tours of the significant spaces will include opportunities to see the historic and elaborate decorations of the lodge rooms, the temple museum, the Commandry Asylum and other spaces within this structure.

Information about the Masonic Lodges, The Order of the Eastern Star and other organizations that meet in this building will be available. In addition, members of these Lodges and other related organizations will be available to assist in answering questions.

Light refreshments will be available during the Nov. 28 open house. Feel free to stop in, warm up and explore this gem of local history. Such occasions do not come around very often.

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