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“The Masonic system represents a stupendous and beautiful fabric, founded on universal purity, to rule and direct our passions, to have faith and love in God, and charity toward man.”
— William Howard Taft

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Asheville, NC Masonic Temple

An article at MountainXpress features the Masonic temple in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. See "Inside Asheville’s Masonic Temple" by Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt:

Ron Lambe, events committee chair and a 5-year Mason with the Asheville Temple, led an informal tour of the historic building, which was designed by Mason and renowned architect Richard Sharp Smith in 1913. The temple opened in 1915 and became headquarters for various branches of the Masonic order. During the tour, Lambe noted that the temple, historically, was more involved in supporting the greater Asheville community: During the Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1918 the temple functioned as a hospital and emergency ward, and in the 1950s the building was designated as a public bomb shelter. In recent years, however, the stately building has been closed for all public use.


Seating 270 people, the auditorium is located on the third floor of the building, with a horseshoe-shaped balcony overlooking the stage from the fourth floor. This section of the Temple was occupied by the Scottish Rite, and the auditorium was once referred to as the Scottish Rite Cathedral. Painted landscapes and backdrops are stacked in the eaves of the cathedral, hung in the fly loft above the stage. These elaborate paintings, which are being stored for future use, were once used for Masonic lessons, Lambe says, where biblical stories and teachings were dramatically enacted for educational purposes.

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