Got a deep-rooted desire to live in a former Masonic lodge? Twenty years ago, I might have jumped at this.
The former home of Alexandria Lodge No. 235 in Alexandria, Indiana is up for sale for the bargain basement price of just $69,000 (CLICK HERE). The lodge itself was absorbed by nearby Frankton Lodge 607 in 2015, but their former Temple was unique.
The 11,000 square foot building started life as a private home, and its most recent owners essentially restored the front portion to that original use.
It has been modernized with five bedrooms and a serviceable kitchen, but its truly magnificent woodwork from the original house is throughout the living areas. Looks like the bathrooms could use a major overhaul, and I see lots of ceiling fans and no outdoor compressor, which make me wonder about air conditioning.
But then walk to the back of the house and you will find the whole lodge room intact and virtually untouched and unaltered, added in what appears to have been the 1920s or so.
If the Hodapps didn't want to downsize our current living arrangements, I'd have snapped it up before telling the rest of you about it. In fact, I'd have snapped it up before telling Alice about it. Then we would have had have plenty of space in which she could refuse to speak to me over it for the next 20 years.
It's located at 414 North Harrison Street in the little town of Alexandria. The sale is pending as of the ad today, but maybe you could outbid them.
Of course, this isn't the only private residence in a former Masonic temple around here. This one is a manageable size, but a California couple and their three kids decided to take on a much more gargantuan temple to make into a home.
|Huntington, Indiana Masonic Temple now a private home|
Theresa and Atom Cannizzaro were originally just looking for a Midwest farmhouse surrounded by a couple hundred acres of land. Then the San Diego couple fell in love with the beautiful former Huntington, Indiana Masonic temple that was originally the home of Amity Lodge 483. They took possession of the building in October 2016, and they've been rehabbing it ever since.
According to a newspaper article from last year, the Cannizzaros bought most of the original furniture along with the building.
Amity Lodge moved to a smaller building on the edge of town.
|The lodge left behind an entire library of books, paperwork including materials from the building’s 1927 dedication, and other bits and pieces of Masonic history.|
|The old lodge room.|
The dining hall features a small theater stage at the opposite end. The Cannizzaro kids think of it as the world biggest playroom.
|1927 newspaper announcing the Temple's dedication.|
Freemasons were front page news then.
The family foresees eventually opening a business in the basement, possibly a brewery. They're in no hurry to finish, and it's truly a labor of love. You can follow their story and their projects at www.freemasontomansion.com.
I just find it fascinating that time after time, private individuals manage to buy, renovate and save the very buildings that entire lodges filled with members claim are too expensive or difficult to maintain. Others seem perfectly happy to keep forking hay at our "white elephants." Why do so many Masons seem so willing to cast them off?