Masonic Lodge - Alameda, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member ucdvicky
N 37° 45.817 W 122° 14.653
10S E 566568 N 4179856
Quick Description: A historic lodge in Alameda, CA
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 1/16/2008 11:59:14 AM
Waymark Code: WM2ZN5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 87

Long Description:
"The Masonic Temple, erected in 1890–91 at Park Street and Alameda Avenue, is the sole survivor of this group of monumental downtown buildings; all the others have been demolished or altered beyond recognition. In similar manner to the Croll Building on Webster Street, the Masonic Temple is the preeminent Victorian landmark on Park Street. But there the similarities end.
Built at a cost of more than $25,000, the looming three-story structure exhibits an astonishingly rich palette of materials. The brick walls are trimmed with polished granite, carved and rusticated sandstone, slate roofing, floral frieze panels of terra cotta, pressed-metal cornice and pier finials, and locally rare cast-iron storefronts. The architectural terra cotta on the Masonic Temple building is the oldest in Alameda.
The building was designed by an Oakland architect named Charles Mau, who won the commission in a competition. Typical of mainstream eclectic architects of his day, he concocted designs from whatever sources caught his fancy. The blocky massing, mansardic cornice and segmental arch windows of the Masonic Temple are Italianate in derivation, but the busy, textured façades, capped with finials, and the prominent gable and tower facing Park Street are clearly Queen Anne in spirit. There is also a nod to the Romanesque in the rusticated stone arch of the Alameda Avenue entry.
At the time of the temple’s dedication, in February 1891, Alameda had a population of about 12,000—eight times as many people as in 1871, when Oak Grove Lodge, No. 215, Free & Accepted Masons, was organized in a rented hall on Park Street. Like other fraternal orders, the Masons played an important role in the community, providing a basis for charitable and civic activities as well as nurturing friendships, business dealings and political alliances.
The lodge continued to grow, culminating in the construction of a new temple next door on Alameda Avenue in the 1920s, the current home of the lodge and the Alameda Museum. The old temple sat vacant for many years (though the ground-floor commercial spaces continued to be rented) and was finally sold in 1979. Today the old lodge rooms and dining rooms are rental apartments, and the redoubtable Java Rama Coffee House does business at the corner. Have yourself a latte, and check out the museum while you’re at it."


Other: Not listed

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saopaulo1 visited Masonic  Lodge - Alameda, CA 1/14/2010 saopaulo1 visited it
hotshoe visited Masonic  Lodge - Alameda, CA 1/18/2009 hotshoe visited it
ucdvicky visited Masonic  Lodge - Alameda, CA 1/17/2008 ucdvicky visited it

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