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Masonic Temple, Philadelphia

4.7
#8 of 63 in Historic Sites in Philadelphia
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Library
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The Masonic Temple is a historic Masonic building in Philadelphia. Located at 1 North Broad Street, directly across from Philadelphia City Hall, it serves as the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Free and Accepted Masons. The Temple features the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, and receives thousands of visitors every year to view the ornate structure, which includes seven lodge rooms, where today a number of Philadelphia lodges and the Grand Lodge conduct their meetings.

The Temple was designed in the medieval Norman style by James H. Windrim, who was 27 years old at the time he won the design competition. The massive granite cornerstone, weighing ten tons, was leveled on St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24, 1868. The ceremonial gavel used on that day by Grand Master Richard Vaux was the same gavel used by President George Washington in leveling the cornerstone of the nation's Capitol building in 1793.

The construction was completed five years later, in 1873. The interior, designed by George Herzog, was begun in 1887 and took another fifteen years to finish.
The bold and elaborate elevations on Broad and Filbert Streets, especially the beautiful portico of Quincy granite, make it one of the great architectural wonders of Philadelphia. The exterior stone of the building on Broad and Filbert Streets is Cape Ann Syenite from Syne in Upper Egypt.

On May 27, 1971, the Temple was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985. It was cited in its landmark designation as one of the nation's most elaborate examples of Masonic architecture.
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Masonic Temple reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
641 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • we were walking by as the tour was about to begin. and decided to join. beautiful building, amazing, friendly staff. worth every penny 
    we were walking by as the tour was about to begin. and decided to join. beautiful building, amazing, friendly staff. worth every penny  more »
  • The ornate Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, built and decorated 1868 to 1902, and adjacent to City Hall, is a shared meeting space for Lodges. The seven halls are designed to suit the variant... 
    The ornate Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, built and decorated 1868 to 1902, and adjacent to City Hall, is a shared meeting space for Lodges. The seven halls are designed to suit the variant...  more »
Google
  • Awesome tour. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Philadelphia. You certainly get more out of it if your a Mason but my wife obviously is not and she really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of history in this building that you wouldn’t know if you just admired it from the outside.
  • I came here by bus on a Tuesday morning in late June 2022. You're only allowed access to the building through a guided tour. I would only recommend this place if you have an interest in the Masonic Fraternity or the building. I found it fascinating. The entire tour was less about the history of the organization and more an advertisement of the dinner rooms and banquet halls they have for rent. Don't get me wrong, they were amazing, but I had to ask all the pressing questions I had in order to get the answers I was seeking - they did not offer it. I came in not knowing anything about the Free Masons. The architecture is really grand and at times jaw-dropping. They provide an hour-long tour each hour (see times online). Bring your student ID for a discount.

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