The Masons of Maine are giving up and kicking their Portland Temple to the curb. See the article, announced suitably on October 13th. Asking price is $5.25 million, and once gone, can never be replaced. It's already been bargain-basemented by a million dollars, because of the Global Economic meltdown Disaster That Will Reduce The Earth To A Smouldering Cinder™.
According to the article, preservationists consider it to be one of the most endangered historic properties in Maine.
The argument is raised that the money used for maintaining the building would be better spent on charity, which is described as Masonry's "wider mission." But is charity really the principal mission of Freemasonry? Aren't our temples also an important aspect of attracting new men to the fraternity, symbolizing our position at the center of the community? If we are principally a charity, why not just rent some office space with a PO box, send out certificates of memberships by mail, and chuck all of this silly ritual claptrap? Or better yet, why not just merge with the United Way and save everybody a lot of time and trouble?
Our great grandfathers built these temples for us. They saved and scrimped and sacrificed to build for the future. Why we cannot work half as hard to find solutions to the problems that commonly plague these masterpieces of our fraternity, I do not understand.
For interior photos, see Chris2fer's blog.