Another Lodge Building Facing Destruction

“Masons built the temple in 1927 on a $31,500 budget. For most of its early years, the temple was the largest building in Concord that people could rent for social functions”

It seems this is the future and demise of so many former lodes, including my own here in Southern California, and abroad. We live in an era that is disinterested in preserving the past and interesting in crowding as many people in as possible. “DeNova Homes wants to tear down the 79-year-old Temple of Mt. Diablo Masonic Lodge to make way for 220 condos on the corner of Galindo Street and Concord Boulevard.” Despite the best efforts of the historic society to preserve the structure, it still faces destruction to make way for a reinvigorated downtown.

“‘We want to see a downtown area very lively during the evenings and not vacant,” said Mayor Susan Bonilla. “When you have people living downtown, you achieve that.'” Freemasonry here seems to be the dinosaur because it is not drawing the crowds it did 40 years ago. No longer do local weddings, dances, or evening entertainment play to the local residences. It seems more that the building is perceived as blight on the community rather than an asset. It leaves me to wonder, whose fault is that? Is it the lodges, is it the communities, is it anyone’s at all, or is it just a victim of time?

A great example of this is the Detroit Masonic Temple, what is in an epic fight for its survival. The owners have worked diligently to preserve the temple from destruction by offering a variety of venues for performance and parties. Will it be enough for them? Would it be an alternative for the Contra Costa County Lodge building? In the end, it’s a shame to see a temple fade into the obscurity of history.


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~ by Greg on February 11, 2006.

One Response to “Another Lodge Building Facing Destruction”

  1. Wow, I had never heard of this temple before! The temple I meet at, The New Masonic Temple, was dedicated a month earlier in October 1926. It too, is 14 stories tall but has ‘only’ 6 million cubic square feet of space. It has an auditorium that would seat over 3,000 and a dining room (planned) that would have seated 3,500. This is the 80th year anniversary for both buildings.

    Ours is more or less safe since it is paid for and there is a trust. The real problem we face is upkeep. Right now I am trying to raise awareness in the Masonic community.

    On March 11th the Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Missouri will be holding a lodge of instruction at the building. It will be such a incredible experience to be in the lodge room with hundreds of Masons!

    I am currently gathering information for an educational lecture that I plan to deliver all across the state of Missouri about the building of the temple. Our temple was built through donations from individual Masons throughout the state over a course of a decade of fund raising.

    Here is a link to a small web-page I am starting about it.

    http://www.newtemple.blogspot.com/

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