History Archives

August 7, 2007

Profile of the Temple from The Builder, September 1915

The text of this article was posted on Hiram's Forum within the last few days. It was thought that it would be nice to have the actual article, with pictures, posted on the IMTA website.

Download PDF

August 8, 2007

Indiana Freemasons' Hall in Indy Paper

Photo by Jim Walker/INTAKE

Indiana Freemasons' Hall was featured in a pictorial article in the August 2nd issue of INTAKE, a free newspaper published by the Indianapolis Star and distributed all around Indianapolis. Intake's self-described purpose is "written for GenXers by GenXers." The article can be seen by CLICKING HERE.

August 10, 2007

How Times Have Changed

In looking through the old minutes and reports of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association, Wbros. Brindle and Dillman have discovered some fascinating statistics from its early days. These are from 1919.

41,266 banquet meals were served in the year 1919 at an average of fifty-four cents per plate ($7.00 in today's money).

1174 meetings were held in the temple in 1919.

There were 96 meetings in December of 1919 alone. Christmas parties and Feasts of St. John were very big. There were thirty-six banquets held that month. 5,764 meals were served at those thirty-six banquets, and there were eight additional punch services.

The Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association treasurer's total receipts in 1919 were $154,370. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $2,001,787 in today's dollars.

October 3, 2007

Indiana Freemasons Hall in Indianapolis Monthly


Indianapolis residents, check out the article "Da Indy Code" in the October 2007 issue of Indianapolis Monthly magazine. It tells the story of Freemasonry's new growth in Indiana, along with highlighting Indiana Freemason's Hall's rebirth.

The article is now available online here.

January 27, 2008

Freemasons' Hall now listed on Indiana Register

James R. Dillman, President of the IMTA Board, announced today:

Indiana Freemasons' Hall has passed its final review by the state and is now officially listed on the Indiana Register of Historic Places. Final review by the National Park Service is pending, and if favorable, the building should be added to the National Register of Historic Places within six to eight weeks.

This has been a long, grueling process. Thanks to Indianapolis historian Glory-June Greiff who wrote up the very-detailed nomination and guided it through the red tape.

March 30, 2008

National Register of Historic Places application approved!

As of March 19, 2008, Indiana Freemasons' Hall (aka "Indianapolis Masonic Temple") has been listed (scroll down to "Indiana, Marion County") on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our profuse appreciation and thanks go out to Glory-June Greiff, the public historian who put together our submission.

January 31, 2009

Red Cross Room in "Indiana Preservationist Magazine" 1/09

The Temple's Egyptian-themed Red Cross Room on the 7th floor was mentioned in a recent article in the January/February 2009 Indiana Preservationist, the official magazine of the Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation.

The article, "Architecture Reflects fever for All Things Egyptian" by Paige E. Wassel, discusses the influence of Egyptian motifs on American architecture dating back to Napoleon's military campaign in Egypt in 1798-99, and some of the more notable examples in Indiana. Indianapolis architects Rubush and Hunter designed at least three buildings with Egyptian details that survive in the city: The Madame Walker Theater, the magnificent art deco Circle Tower, and of course our own Freemasons' Hall. While our building doesn't have overt Egyptian details on its exterior, the Red Cross Room is certainly loaded with them.

Also receiving mention is the beautiful Egyptian Room at the Murat Shrine. (Unfortunately, no photos were included of our Masonic buildings in the piece.)

June 13, 2009

100th Anniversary Program

The 100th anniversary program from Freemasons' Hall's centennial celebration is now available for download here.

June 14, 2009

100th Anniversary of Indiana Freemasons' Hall

Saturday was a great day for Freemasonry in Indiana. An estimated 250 Masons marched from the Murat Shrine to Freemasons' Hall down North Street. We were led by the Knights Templar color guard and the Grand Lodge officers, followed by Blue Lodge Masons from across the state, members and officers from the appendant bodies and youth groups, and ending with the Murat Shrine band.

Another hundred or more Masons, family and friends made their way into the auditorium, which could have been a whole lot hotter if it hadn't been in the 60s last night. Those who entered through the west doors filed past our new security desk, constructed by PGM Richard Elman, and our just-delivered computerized information kiosk, partially paid for by a generous grant from the Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis. Entertaining the growing crowd was Grand Organist James McNabney. The stage was quickly crowded with Grand Lodge officers, Past Grand Masters and the Temple Board members. After introductions by Wbro. Dillman, Temple Board president, Jim read the proclamations by Governor Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and Indianapolis City Councilman Ed Colman declaring June 6-13th as Freemason Week.

Keynote speaker U.S. Congressman Dan Burton, member of Evergreen-Oriental Lodge No. 500, who represents Indiana's 5th Congressional District, was introduced by former Army buddy, Grand Secretary Max Carpenter, and spoke on the long association between Freemasonry in the U.S. and patriotism, reminding the audience of the Masonic membership of many of the founders of our nation and 15 presidents. He recalled the laying of the cornerstone of the US Capitol on September 21st, 1793 by George Washington, surrounded by Freemasons, and dressed in his Masonic regalia, performing much the same ceremony as today's. Following his remarks, Brother Burton was presented with the Caleb B. Smith Award, the highest award that can be given by the Grand Lodge of Indiana for service to the fraternity.

Grand Master Charles F. Marlowe presented a beautiful plaque to Freemasons' Hall, to commemorate the occasion. Handmade from acacia wood, and inscribed in marble and brass, this stunning memorial marks the 100th anniversary of the building in the most beautiful manner possible. It will be hung in the south hallway once we can find a secure way to keep its hefty weight from pulling the plaster off the wall!

Grand Master Marlowe's remarks were brief, but challenged us to keep improving the building, and encouraged ALL brethren in Indiana to remember what a profound effect our fraternal edifices have on our newest members, as well as the communities in which we reside. He also took the opportunity to ask Indiana masons to reach the goal of 2,500 new Masons this year. Upon ending his remarks, he presented Jim Dillman with the hand-made gavel used at Grand Lodge this past May, and a check that will go towards an etched logo for the front of the new security desk - money raised by brethren in northern Indiana.

The rededication ceremony by the Grand Lodge officers followed, with the traditional trying of the building using the ancient tools of Masonry, and re-consecrating it with corn, wine and oil.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, refreshments were served, and guests filled the building to socialize and to tour its many rooms. Brother McNabney entertained a group in the third floor south lodge room playing its 100 year old pipe organ. Careful explorers found the beginnings of the Grand Lodge Library and Museum just beginning to take shape on the 5th floor. Assisting in serving up cake and punch were the young men of the Indianapolis Demolay Chapter that has just moved into the building in the last year. Every day seems to bring new activity, groups or events. The building is more alive than it has been in decades.

Many, many thanks to everyone who helped to make this a very special occasion for Indiana Freemasonry. Grand Master Marlowe said during his remarks that we cannot live the history of the past, but we can make history today. History was indeed made today in Indianapolis, and the Freemasons from every corner of the state of Indiana have much to be proud of. Freemasons' Hall is the headquarters of our fraternity. It is not just an Indianapolis temple building—every Indiana Mason is a partial owner of this magnificent temple. The Grand Master has given his permission for lodges from anywhere in Indiana to come and perform degrees in its four lodge rooms.

I left the building about 5:00 or so, and Wbro. Jim Dillman was snoring soundly in his office chair, the last guy in the place. He earned it. He had a busy day.

Chris Hodapp

About History

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to IMTA News in the History category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Announcements is the previous category.

Masonic is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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