Masonic buildings that are not blessed with sound fiscal planning or endowed capital accounts are always searching for new and innovative ways to keep the doors open. The 1897 Charleston, WV Masonic temple has opened its doors to local artists and artistic groups, and is becoming a center of the community.
From an article in the Charleston Gazette today:
Jeffrey Thomas, an investment adviser and chairman of the board of trustees of the Masonic Temple building, has been working with several artists to find the right fit for them in his building.
"We're working with artists who need spaces to work; the Masonic Temple is opening its doors for all of the artists in the area," Thomas said. "We're offering great rents, some as little as $65 a month, to make this work"
Thomas pointed out the building's history of housing artists - the late Bernie Wiepper worked in the building for years, and the Charleston Ballet and the American Academy of Ballet are located on the first floor.
"We give them way-below-market rent -- started them out even lower," Thomas said. "It's our way of making a contribution to the arts in Charleston."
According to Thomas, 100% of the building rentals goes for renovations.
Photo by Chip Ellis/Charleston Gazette