Detroit's Masonic Temple celebrates 100 years since groundbreaking

Celebrating its 100th year since groundbreaking, Detroit's Masonic Temple is an architectural masterpiece. 

"The Masonic Temple is just an incredible part of Detroit's history. It's an incredible architectural wonder, it's a labyrinth of amazement," said Rob Moore, Chief Docent of the Detroit Masonic Temple. 

Ground broke on Detroit's iconic 210-foot tall Masonic Temple on Thanksgiving Day 1920. It is the largest Masonic Temple in the world with over 1,000 rooms including three theaters, three ballrooms, a swimming pool and even a bowling alley.

"On Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1926, the building was officially dedicated. So from start to finish, it took approximately six years to build," Moore said. 

Although thousands of Metro Detroiters have been to The Masonic Temple for concerts, weddings and pubic events, its purpose is to serve the Mason community of Metro Detroit.

"There were 50,000 Masons in the City of Detroit that needed a home," Moore said.

So what is a Mason?

"A man who has taken a series of oaths and obligations within a Masonic Lodge to set himself on a path to learning, of knowledge, of self-discovery," Moore explained.

Constructed in a Neo-Gothic design, the outside of The Masonic Temple resembles a cathedral or castle, but inside: "It's very diverse. Most of the rooms have some sort of specific architectural style," Moore said. 

Rarely seen by the public is the Masonic Temple's unfinished pool and spa, part of an overall athletic complex. 

The Masonic Temple may best be known for its beautiful theatres, including its rarely-seen unfinished third theater.

"We have the larger, main theater which has 4,404 seats. We have the Jack White Theater, which seats 1,652. We do have an unfinished theater. Originally, the unfinished theater would have been a private theater for Masons only."

Of the 1,037 rooms in the Masonic Temple, perhaps the most stunning is from its roof.

"There's some very nice views from the roof as well. It's a beautiful view of Downtown Detroit."

From its detailed architecture to its rich history, The Masonic Temple is a celebrated part of Detroit ever since the first brick was laid 100 years ago. 

If you are interested in discovering Detroit's Masonic Temple, they offer behind-the-scene tours on the first and third Sundays of every month under normal operating conditions.