"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Monday, April 01, 2013

Santa Fe, NM Scottish Rite Center To Be Sold

The distinctive pink Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico will go on the block this summer, according to  The Santa Fe, New Mexican today:
Another Santa Fe landmark could be on the real estate market this summer. Officials with the Scottish Rite Masonic Center will soon formally inform members about their “serious consideration” of putting the century-old building north of downtown up for sale.
“It is a wonderful old building, but we simply can’t afford to keep it up with our declining membership,” said Tom Payne, Scottish Rite head for the Orient of New Mexico. “It is like every other fraternal organization, with the dip claiming membership and the rising costs, we simply cannot make a cash flow. So we need to go to a more efficient building that costs a lot less to maintain.”
The “pink cathedral” at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Washington Avenue is a hulking edifice with a footprint of nearly 45,000 square feet. A standout amid Territorial and Pueblo-style buildings still standing downtown, it was erected in 1912 in the Moorish architectural style, with some features patterned from the Alhambra castle in Granada, Spain.
Masonic organizations like Scottish Rite peaked in popularity here after World War II, when more than 4,000 men were members. Today, that number is in the range of 1,400 to 1,800, Payne said.
Building owners with the local Valley of Santa Fe chapter aren’t sure how much they might ask for the property, he said, but plan to make a decision about its fate before June 1.


  1. The Valley of Santa Fe will hold its spring reunion May 3-4-5. Much discussion is expected as there is a difference of opinion as to whether the Valley is in financial distress and whether the best preserved example of Scottish Rite theater from the era of 1912 should be sold and possibly destroyed.--Ill. John R. Adams 33 deg.

  2. I'll guarantee you of a couple of things that may be the cause of the probable demise of this fine looking structure in Santa Fe.

    There were 4,000 members there during WWII... what do you think their dues were then?... $20 a year?... close enough. Now 70 some odd years later they have about 1,400 members... what do you think their dues are now?... $100 a year... I'll bet that is close too.

    Well in that 70 some years I would say the spending power of the dollar is what?... 100 times less?... maybe only 50 times?... let's use the latter.

    The dues now should be (using 50 times) $1,000 per year and I'd be shocked if they couldn't maintain that "clear title" building with dues alone of $1,400,000 a year.

    You see my years involved with the "business of Masonry" has left me with one glaring problem... A Freemason wouldn't pay a quarter to watch an earthquake! Those dues should have been raised over the years but when a dues increase is brought up in Lodge... the whining is deafening.

    How do all of these supposedly smart individuals think all of these buildings will keep operating?... Hoping that the G.A.O.T.U. walks into all of the buildings with a bag of money?... my guess is that will not and obviously has not happened.

    The massive Temple in Detroit going down the ol' dirt chute for a $152,000 tax bill? Look up on Google "A Tale of Two Temples" and see how the "management" of that beautiful old Masonic Temple in Toronto, Canada had an 80 year old beauty snapped away from them for next to nothing. There are hundreds of these horror stories.

    When I have raised Lodge dues (and I have done it numerous times) everyone said, "They'll all Demit!"... they didn't. People didn't leave earth because stuff gradually cost more... and Masons don't leave because dues go up... I have some reasons they do leave but dues IS NOT one of them.

    Brother (only) Francis Dryden
    The Perpetual Secretary

    Now Secretary with Axixic (pronounced Ah-Hee-Heek) Lodge No. 31 in the M. W. York Grand Lodge of Mexico
    Honorary Member of Exemplar Lodge No. 175 & Member of Griesbach Lodge No. 191 both in the Grand Lodge of Alberta in Canada
    Past Treasurer of Al Shamal Shrine Center in Edmonton, Alberta (2011)
    Secretary of the Lake Chapala Shrine Club in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico (sent 182 kids to Shrine Hospital in 2012... busy place!
    Awarded the Masonic Medal of Merit by the Grand Lodge of Alberta in June 2010.
    Served on the Boards of the Pillar Society (a subsidized 199 suite apartment building in Edmonton), the Freemasons' Hall of Edmonton and the Masonic Foundation of Alberta.

  3. You would think from the way Scottish Rite Masons think of themselves that we would be the best and the brightest. But Bro. Dryden is right. Dues haven't kept up; consequently membership is seen as having less value. In a state that sent over $1 million to support the House of the Temple in DC we can't mount an effective fundraising campaign locally. And rather than figure out how to charge enough to pay utilities we are shutting down in November.

    BTW after a year on the market at $7.4 million the ask has dropped to $6.9 million. Who knows what it will be negotiated down to?

    To keep up with recent developments and show support see the facebook page at Save the Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple. -- Ill. John R. Adams 33 deg.


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