From the Northwest Indiana Times:
The mammoth cornerstone to the ornately elegant three-story red brick building on Muenich Court was laid May 1, 1907, to great fanfare. Speaker for the day was none other than Charles Fairbanks, vice president under U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1921, the Masonic Building Association enhanced the building to the tune of $440,000. By the 1970s, its replacement cost was estimated at $4.8 million. Today, it is estimated its restoration could top $20 million.
Patrick Swibes, chairman of the Hammond Historic Preservation Commission, said the building was once a candidate for preservation.
"The building has been terribly compromised over the last 12 to 15 years," Swibes said. "Once the roof goes, it lets water into the building, which disintegrates a building pretty quickly."
Swibes said most of the damage is to the theater. The stage in the building's enormous auditorium once showcased Shrine circuses, basketball games, theater plays, miniature golf and concerts.
One of Hammond's most ornate buildings, it is heavily customized with terra-cotta designs. The Muenich Court entryway contains leaded glass windows, glazed multicolored Egyptian heads and arched, hooded door surrounds.
Sadly, a look at the Masonic list in Indiana reveals surrounding that there are lodges in nearby Griffith, East Chicago, Gary, Highland and Schererville, but there are no Masonic lodges left in Hammond.