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Saturday, September 10, 2011

California's N. Hollywood Lodge Celebrates Temple's 60th Anniversary

North Hollywood Patch features a terrific article today about North Hollywood Lodge No. 542 in California, its history, its famous members, and even its eccentric "Neo-Mayan" architect on the occasion of it's temple's 60th anniversary.

See Freemasons Celebrate 60th Anniversary of North Hollywood Temple by Craig Clough:

It's one of the most striking, unusual and bizarre structures in North Hollywood, if not in all of the San Fernando Valley.

It's architectural style has been described as "neo-Mayan," and for 60 years it has towered over pedestrians on Tujunga Avenue and visitors to the southern end of North Hollywood Park.

On Sept. 1, the Freemasons of the North Hollywood Lodge No. 542 celebrated the 60th anniversary of the building with a public dinner and congratulatory speeches from Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge and Suzanne Toyryla, the president of the North Hollywood Rotary Club.

Lodge No. 542 started in the 1920s, back when North Hollywood was still called Lankershim, according to Armen Mardirousi, the current Master of the North Hollywood Lodge Freemasons. The members rented a building until a movement got under way in the 1940s to build their own temple.

"Tonight, basically we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the dedication of the building by the Grand Master of all Masons in California in 1951," Mardirousi told Patch.

The North Hollywood Lodge has a deep connection to Hollywood's golden age. Former heads of some of the nearby movie studios were members, as were some famous actors, most notably Audie Murphy, the film star who was also the most decorated solider of World War II. Murphy lived nearby in Toluca Lake, and an upstairs room in the lodge, the Audie Murphy Lounge, is dedicated to his memory. Many of his medals and other artifacts are displayed, as is his application to join the Masons.

Read the rest here.

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