Located in downtown Detroit, the Detroit Masonic Temple is a large events venue that regularly hosts musical events, Broadway shows and other events. The historic building has been a part of the Detroit skyline since Thanksgiving Day, 1926, when it was dedicated. It is the largest Masonic Temple in the world, and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.
The Temple is built around a 4,404-seat theater with a 55 by 100 foot stage, which is generally regarded as one of the finest theaters in the United States. In addition, the 14 story building houses 1,037 rooms and serves as headquarters for the fifty Detroit-area Masonic organizations.
The Masonic Temple has a long and well-recorded history. The current Temple was built to replace the Detroit Masonic Temple built on Lafayette Boulevard in 1896. Despite years of careful planning, the organization outgrew its space there by 1908. The Masonic Order at first attempted to enlarge their current temple facility by purchasing land on either side of the structure, but by 1913 realized that the only solution was to purchase another site. Determined not to face the same problem in just a few years, the organization undertook a search and a building initiative that culminated in the purchase of land on Temple Street in downtown Detroit.
Ground was broken for the Masonic Temple on Thanksgiving Day, 1920, and the cornerstone of the new Temple was laid on September 18, 1922, using the same tools that were used to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. The Temple was completed and dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1926, 30 years after the original Temple opened to the public. The Temple was built in three parts with three separate functions - the Ritualistic Tower, which houses the headquarters for most of the Masonic organizations in Detroit, the auditorium, which houses the theater and is intended for public use, and the Shrine Club. The center section of the Temple also houses public ballrooms and a Drill room which are used for conventions and events.
The Detroit Masonic Temple is generally acknowledged to be one of the most complex and beautiful buildings in the United States. It consists of a 14 story Ritualistic Tower at one end, a 10 story Shrine Club at the other end, and between them, a 7 story Auditorium Building. The parts of the Temple include:
Scottish Rite Cathedral, which seats 1,586 people
The Drill Hall, a 17,500-foot hall that is used for conventions, trade shows and Roller Derby bouts
A floating floor
The Crystal Ballroom, which seats up to 900 people
The Fountain Ballroom, which can seat 1,800 diners
Five smaller dinner rooms, which are available for events
The Masonic Temple has rooms and halls available for weddings, special events, conventions, trade shows and corporate events. For more information about the Masonic Temple, including information about shows at the Masonic Temple Theater, contact the sales office for the Masonic Temple at 313-832-7100.
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