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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

GL of Wisconsin Begins Assessment to Preserve Madison Temple

Back in June of 2018, the assembled Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin overwhelmingly voted to take ownership of, and to preserve and protect the Madison Masonic Center. The Masonic Center is home to fourteen Masonic bodies and the Scottish Rite Children's Dyslexia Center, and it has been the meeting place for the Wisconsin Annual Communication for many years. The beautiful beaux arts interior features two lodge rooms, a grand ballroom, dining room, offices, lounges, the Robert Monteith Masonic Library and Museum, and the large auditorium that seats approximately 1,000.

The resolution that was adopted a year and a half ago was to re-establish a 501c3 non-profit foundation and transfer the ownership of the building to the new corporation supported by the Grand Lodge. To achieve initial funding, they adopted a two-year mandatory assessment on all Wisconsin Masons of $10/year. 

The Grand Lodge has just levied the first year's assessment this week (letter below - click to enlarge).

Like so many other landmark Masonic buildings across the country, the Madison Temple was part of the 'City Beautiful' movement that swept the nation after the 1893 Chicago Exhibition. 

The Temple was erected just a few blocks away from the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison between 1923 and 1925. The impressive and imposing neo-classical temple is located in Madison's Mansion Hill Historic District and adjacent to the National Register-listed Langdon Street Historic District, an area of stately homes that that was transformed in the 20th century into "fraternity row" for the nearby University of Wisconsin. 


  1. The creation of a 502c corporation is very smart and of course a way that the Craft needs to emulate elsewhere. The Grand Masters Conference should have a service that enables lodges to create such corporations.

    1. Honestly, I don't understand why COGMMNA, the MSA, maybe even the two Supreme Councils, one of the major libraries like New York or Iowa, or even the George Washington National Masonic Memorial haven't established some sort of general clearing house for resources regarding Masonic building restoration and preservation. That should include the basics on starting a foundation and understanding the intricacies of the tax laws and what are and are not tax deductible projects, etc. Every major and minor city and town in America either had or still has a significant Masonic temple in it, and I'd venture a guess that a good 25% today are still considered historically or architecturally important. It is frankly daft that Masons haven't pooled their resources so that temple associations, grand lodges or just local lodges with a big building don't have to reinvent the wheel and feel that no one has dealt with this before.

  2. Rather 501c3 - 502 is a different statute.


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