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.
Monday, April 01, 2013
Santa Fe, NM Scottish Rite Center To Be Sold
The Santa Fe, New Mexican today: