About the Allentown Masonic Temple
What Goes on in the Masonic Temple?
Over the years there have been many occasions where a stranger, passing by the Masonic Temple, asks, “What do they do in there?”
This website is designed to answer that simple question. The answer, however, is not so simple. It is our pleasure to present as comprehensive an answer as is needed. We will first look at the building itself.
The Masonic Temple building is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places as a property significant in architecture and culture. Application for inclusion on the National Registry involved twelve years of research and writing and this included comparison of this building’s architecture and decorative art with other Masonic and public buildings built by architect Richard G. Schmid and decorated by interior decorator Gustav A. Brand. The building represents a significant collection of early 20th Century architecture and decorative art that is still visible in the color tones of the time.
The building includes over 50,000 square feet of floor space on the upper six levels and approximately 15,000 square feet of space in the basement. This space is occupied by 19 Masonic, Masonic-related, or fraternal organizations, utilizing the six meeting halls, banquet facilities and adjoining parlors. Four businesses currently occupy 17,000 square feet of space.
To the members of the Masonic fraternity, the building is more than an empty shell housing furniture and painted walls. It is a serious retreat for fraternal endeavors and inward pursuits of reflection. It offers a quiet space away from the profane world that allows quiet contemplation. There are four Masonic Lodges, who meet in these uniquely decorated halls and number about 1,400 men and another 200 from the ladies organization and the young men from the Order of DeMolay. In addition, there are Masonic related invitational organizations, which add more than 500 to the membership.
These members come from all strata of the community. They are the “movers and shakers” of our society, teachers, lawyers, doctors, plumbers, electricians, etc. Some are even “giants” that walk among us, but are not recognized until their eulogy is given. They are all productive members of our community, who seek to be better in their daily lives. They may be your neighbors, your insurance agent, or dozens of others you meet in your daily life. They are honest, law-abiding, and concerned individuals.
The building also serves as a community resource. It houses the Harry C. Trexler Masonic Library, which provides public lectures and is open to the public by appointment. Rental space is available for meetings, banquets and special events. Professional office space will also be available. In the past, we have offered tours of the building once or twice each year and plans are underway to develop regularly scheduled tours.
Especially valuable is the Trexler Masonic Library, which contains thousands of volumes on various topics associated with Freemasonry and a collection of rare books that serve as a primary resource for research. Also associated with the Library are displays of Masonic and fraternal artifacts, which add a greater interest and understanding of the history and evolution of Masonic culture. Many of these artifacts are displayed outside the meeting halls. Small group seminars are being planned to discuss architecture and decorative art from the historic period of the building.
Of the professional businesses presently occupying office space in this building, one has given notice and is moving in 2014 into the new center city office space. The Masonic Temple will have office space available within the year. For more information, call realtor Kevin Yarnall at 610-360-2735.
General Harry C. Trexler was deeply involved in the early planning and life of the Masonic Temple. In 1930, he gave the Trexler Masonic Library to the Masonic Temple, and noted: “To the Directors of the Masonic Temple Association of Allentown, Pennsylvania. It is my pleasure to contribute to the Association this library of rare books and records of Masonic lore. Many of these records cannot be duplicated. They are for the use of the Masons of the entire Lehigh Valley and their Masonic guests. I hope that many hours of rest and refreshment will be enjoyed in their companionship and in the attainment of Masonic knowledge. Treat them as you would a brother with the utmost courtesy and care. Through such care posterity can enjoy them for many years to come. Fraternally, Harry C. Trexler April 9, 1930.”
General Trexler left us a legacy upon his death in 1933 and it is now for us to preserve that legacy.
Allentown Masonic Temple
Address : 1524 W Linden St, Allentown, PA 18102, USA
©2016 Allentown Masonic Temple all rights reserved.