September 3, 2012

Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research Officer's Installation

Fraternally submitted by Michael D. Gillard, PM ~ Sr. Warden, DLS Lodge of Research, U.D.

The Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research, U.D., F.&A.M., Grand Lodge of Indiana operates at the "will & pleasure," of the Grand Master of Masons in Indiana. That is what is meant by the wording "Under Dispensation." Yet, never before in the nearly 20 years existence of Indiana's Lodge of Research has the Grand Master Installed the Officers of the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research, U.D.

Today, September 1st., 2012, Grand Master George Ingles, Jr. changed that history by officially Installing the Principal Officers of our Research Lodge. Grand Master Ingles opened the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research, U.D. in Ample Form and formally Installed Christopher Kimmel, PM, as Worshipful Master; Michael D. Gillard, PM, as Senior Warden; and William "Bill" Sassman, PM, as Secretary/Treasurer. John Bridegroom, PM, has been designated as Junior Warden but was unable to be present for the Installation ceremony and will be Installed by W.M. Kimmel at the next regular assembly of the Lodge.

Two Past Grand Masters; Michael D. Brumback and Roger VanGorden, were joined by four current Grand Lodge Officers in witnessing the Installation together with approximately twelve other Master Masons including at least one presiding Worshipful Master. It may be of interest to note that seven Brethren attending were 33rd. Degree members of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and four Brothers present were OPC's (Order of the Purple Cross,) of the York Rite Sovereign College. Certainly a distinguished group of Masons present for this unique Installation of our Indiana DLS Lodge of Research.

At least two Past Masters of the DLS Lodge were also present to witness this historic occasion.

The installation was followed by a presentation by Emily Lytle-Painter on the creation of the Indiana Masonic Library & Museum, and a paper by WB Chris Kimmel on Joseph Daviess. It was an excellent day.

July 26, 2012

Historic Indianapolis presentation on YouTube

Here is the full 5-minute video from Historic Indianapolis that was mentioned on WISH-TV last Saturday.

July 19, 2012

Freemasons' Hall on WISH-TV Daybreak Saturday Morning THIS SATURDAY

Per Jim Dillman:

Indiana Freemasons' Hall will be featured in the Historic Indianapolis segment of WISH TV News 8 Daybreak Saturday Morning this Saturday, July 21 on Channel 8. The show runs from 7:00 A.M. until 9:00 A.M. and the Historic Indianapolis segment typically runs around 8:45. You might want to tune in slightly earlier. The Historic Indianapolis Team spent about two hours filming in the building last week.

There will also be a YouTube video available on the Historic Indianapolis YouTube channel, which I understand will be posted by Friday, July 20. We'll also be featured on the Historic Indianapolis website, . Many thanks to Tiffany Benedict Berkson and her cameraman for braving the heat inside our un-air conditioned building.

May 17, 2012

Thank you!

On behalf of the Indiana Masonic Temple Association, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the $2.00 increase in the Grand Lodge Trustees assessment, the proceeds of which go to help support Indiana Freemasons' Hall. This was approved in Grand Lodge today by a substantial margin. I'd especially like to thank our immediate Past Grand Master Greg Walbridge for including the request in his recommendation and for his comments in support of the proposal in Grand Lodge. I'm not certain we'd have gotten this done otherwise. Thanks also to W. Bro. Randy Nail, Worshipful Master of Centre Lodge #23, and to the other brothers (unknown to me) who spoke in Grand Lodge on behalf of the recommendation.

This did not happen overnight. It has taken several years and a lot of hard work on the part of many people to get us to the point where we felt we could ask the membership for these additional funds. I'd be remiss if I did not also mention the unanimous support we have received from all of the Past Grand Masters and Grand Lodge officers along the way, including those who have served as trustees and appointed board members. Special thanks to PGM and Past Grand Secretary Max Carpenter, PGM and Grand Secretary Rick Elman, and PGM and Grand Treasurer John Grein, who have all served as mentors. Their knowledge and experience has been invaluable to me This has been a team effort all the way. I'm also grateful to the many brethren from all over the state who have offered their encouragement and support.

I have to single out a couple of people who have been there every step of the way since the IMTA took somewhat of a new direction back in 2007. W. Bro. Nathan Brindle has served as the IMTA Secretary since mid-year 2007. He has done yeoman's work with our accounting procedures and our IT needs. He is in the IMTA office a couple of days a week writing checks, mailing invoices, doing the banking, and updating records. I cannot imagine trying to do this without him. Chris Hodapp, who serves as Vice President of the board, has been a great source of ideas. He has written about the building in several different publications and arranged for his role in a couple of documentaries to be filmed in the building, which has given us national exposure. Even throughout a couple of years of very serious illnesses, he has rarely missed a board meeting. I can't express in words how fortunate I am to count these two brethren not only as colleagues, but also as great friends and brothers.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a great passion for the building, as do all of the members of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association. We're very proud of the work that has been done to the building over the last several years. These additional funds will allow us to continue to aggressively pursue many needed additional improvements to the building while remaining financially solvent. We will endeavor to do our very best to be good stewards of IMTA funds.

As I said in the Grand Lodge session today, I hope that all Indiana brethren feel a sense of ownership in Indiana Freemasons' Hall and we'll make every effort to make the home of Indiana Freemasonry a place that all of you can point to with pride. There is still much work to be done and we will need everyone's continued support. Today's vote to increase our funding was a huge step that was vital to the future of the building. I was very proud of the collective Grand Lodge of Indiana for stepping up to the plate and demonstrating their support for Indiana Freemasons' Hall.

Jim Dillman, President
Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association

January 18, 2012

Scottish Rite Foundation of Indianapolis Awards Grant to Indiana Freemasons’ Hall

The Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association is pleased to announce that the Scottish Rite of Indianapolis Foundation has awarded Indiana Freemasons’ Hall a grant in the amount of $26,000. The grant money will be applied toward the purchase and installation of new steam coils for the building’s heating system, which are being replaced at a total cost of $52,000.

The Scottish Rite of Indianapolis Foundation has awarded grants to Indiana Masonic organizations as well as non-Masonic organizations in the Indianapolis community for nearly three decades. Indiana Freemasons’ Hall has been a regular beneficiary of the Foundation for the last several years. Their generosity has enabled the IMTA to complete several projects that were very important to the future of the building.

The IMTA is very grateful to the Scottish Rite of Indianapolis Foundation for their continued support of Indiana Freemasons’ Hall. We also wish to thank the members of the Foundation’s board for their service and dedication to the principle of Masonic charity.

-- Jim Dillman, IMTA President

December 14, 2011

Infrastructure improvements

Recently, Irish Mechanical wrapped up the installation of a new condensate return pump system which is connected (and vitally important) to the Hall's low-pressure steam boiler. The old system, which had a good long life of about thirty years, finally gave out on us just as the heating season was ending last spring.

This is the old system:

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Here is the new system. It is in two sections: the smaller section down in the pit is the system's "low point" and is the point to which all of the steam condensate eventually drains after heating the building. In the old system, there was only a tank in the pit and the vacuum pumps wore themselves out pulling the water up out of the pit. The new system uses dual pumps to pump the water up from the low point to the other, larger section which actually draws the vacuum and pumps the water back into the boiler.

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This was more of a job of artistry than of repair and replacement as everything had to be piped up just so. Building Superintendent Randy Spaulding and Rick from Irish Mechanical spent many a long hour getting things put together and operating again. Here is another view of the back of the system showing the piping.

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This new system is just one of the major infrastructure replacements that are currently being done here at Indiana Freemasons Hall. This $34,000 replacement, the new insulating windows being installed by Moss Glass at a cost of $112,000, along with other improvements such as a good number of new and refurbished steam traps and repairs recently made to our damper control systems, will help to dramatically reduce the cost of heating the building. We should realize savings in the gas bill which currently runs $23,100 annually, will cut our water usage significantly, will be better able to control the heat in the building, and should be able to put off major repairs to or replacement of our 30-year-old boiler for several more years as a result of these improvements.

November 22, 2011

GL of Indiana Library & Museum Opens Founder's Day

From Michael Brumback, PGM, Chairman, Library & Museum Board:

The Grand Lodge Library & Museum in Indiana Freemasons’ Hall is on track to open for Founder’s Day 2012. As of Thanksgiving week, dramatic lighting has been installed, the room is being painted to highlight exhibits, and the floors are being refinished. Our IUPUI Interns have completed the design phase of the project, and are entering the execution phase of building the exhibits. The 5th floor foyer is being updated, furniture is being reupholstered, and the new entrance will feature museum exhibits. Fourteen new display cases will be delivered in December, and all artifacts for the first displays have been catalogued and photographed, while future exhibit artifacts have been stored in compliance with archival standards. Many of our historic pictures have been digitized to be displayed on a touchscreen LCD monitor, along with numerous other artifacts for future virtual exhibits.

November 9, 2011

Major Projects Proceed At Indiana Freemasons' Hall

The Indianapolis Masonic Temple Board Association has secured a $250,000 loan to complete numerous projects around Indiana Freemasons' Hall that will improve the Temple aesthetically and structurally, as well as improving our energy use and safety, and providing new services for our members. The many new projects approved by the Temple Board include:

• New energy-efficient windows for the whole building.
• Repairs to steam traps and improvements to the condensate system that will allow the boiler to operate more efficiently.
• Repairs to the ventilation dampers which will allow greater airflow and exhaust of heat in the summer.
• Installation of internet, phone and cable TV wiring to all floors.
• Plaster restoration and ceiling repair on the 7th floor from damage caused by a 20 year water leak, which has been repaired.
• Replacement of wall sconces missing from the 7th floor.
• Complete renovation of the fire escape, including replacement of the rusting decking with new galvanized decks.
• Extensive repair of exterior limestone spalling.
• Complete renovation and modernization of the 2nd floor kitchen, with new, modern appliances, a new commercial dishwasher, larger ice machine, paint and flooring.

Because of the nature of the loan and the repayment structure, this will make up the total of our discretionary spending for new projects for several years, but it means we are able to accomplish it all in a much shorter period of time. Upon completion of these projects, the total spent on building improvements in the last five years will exceed $800,000. The Temple Board certainly welcomes any financial assistance lodges or individual Masons may wish to contribute to these and other projects. Tax-deductible donations may be made to our 501c3 corporation with checks made out to Freemasons' Hall Inc. and mailed to the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association, 525 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

These are in addition to the many renovations undertaken around the building by the various lodges and the Commandery which have gone far to improve the appearance of the third, fifth and seventh floors. Freemasons' Hall looks and functions better today than it has in literally decades. Much credit goes to the Building Superintendent Randy Spaulding and to Board President James Dillman, who spend untold hours caring for the building, crawling through ductwork, tracing down hidden plumbing lines, or beating up contractors for the best prices for us.

In other news around the Temple, the Grand Secretary's office has temporarily moved to the third floor while the office is gutted and completely remodeled. Both the Scholarship Board office and the state office for Indiana DeMolay have recently moved into the Temple. The international research origination, the Masonic Society, also leases space in the building, along with the Masonic Relief Board of Indiana and the Indiana Masonic Home Foundation.

The Library and Museum on the 5th floor will be open in time for Founder's Day. New cases are being installed, along with dramatic new lighting, and the Museum Board has hired two interns from IUPUI to assist with cataloguing and display ideas to preserve Indiana's priceless Masonic heritage.

Indiana Freemasons' Hall is your Temple. It is not simply the home of the lodges that meet there, but it is the headquarters of our entire fraternity in Indiana, and every Indiana Freemason should be proud of it. Like the Schofield House, the Grand Master has issued a standing dispensation so that any Indiana lodge may confer up to three degrees per year in one of its four lodge rooms without requesting special permission. Simply make a reservation for one of the rooms at the security desk.

September 21, 2011


New welcome mats printed with our official logo arrived last week and now greet visitors at the west and south entrances.

September 2, 2011

Grand Lodge Library & Museum: Order From Chaos

The Grand Lodge of Indiana Library & Museum has made enormous progress over the summer months in its new home in Indiana Freemasons’ Hall. The painstaking job of opening literally thousands of boxes of items continues, and the volunteer workers have been rediscovering and sorting treasures into a manageable collection. The work is slow at times because of the care required not to cause further damage, and to preserve our heritage. Each carton and every single bit of wrapping paper must be examined to be certain no tiny, priceless item is missed.

The Board has enlisted the assistance of Ramona Duncan-Huse, Senior Director of Conservation and Preservation Imaging at the Indiana Historical Society. We have also hired two Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis interns to aid in organizing, archiving and preserving our most important items, as well as guiding us in making display decisions. The collection of aprons that date from the 1700s is especially in need of care to stabilize the delicate fabric and artwork they contain, as well as research into their origin. Many fragile items were damaged in the 1990s while at the Museum’s temporary home in Franklin during a catastrophic steam leak, and we are determined to protect all we can from further deterioration.

New computer equipment and Past Perfect software has been purchased to assist with the archiving process. New museum cases are being explored, and custom lighting is coming, along with some innovative electronic display equipment that will make the experience more informative, interactive and entertaining than just cases lined with endless rows of coins, medals and other artifacts.

In addition, a website will soon be available to provide information, as well as future expansion that will include an online catalogue of the library’s books and an archive of our museum collection.
In order for any museum to be useful, its collection needs to be changed regularly. Our goal will not be to display everything we have all at once, but to find themes and programs to evolve over time. It will always be a work in progress.

The Library & Museum is located on the 5th floor of Freemasons’ Hall in Indianapolis, and doors will be open during Founder’s Day in January. Regular hours will be forthcoming. If you are interested in visiting or volunteering with this important work, contact the Library Museum Board chairman Mike Brumback, PGM, at