The Masonic Temple is one of the older and architecturally distinguished buildings still in existence in the City of Erie. Most of the other buildings constructed in this early 20th century era have been lost due to destruction, and with it the part of the architectural heritage of the community has been diminished.
The architectural firm of Alden and Harlow who designed the building are important in the early 20th century architecture of Western Pennsylvania, and the construction contractor of Henry Schenk Company was a prominent and well-renowned local building with offices and manufacturing plants in Erie and Pittsburgh.
The original wood work, plaster-relief ceilings, marble-blocked corridors are unmatched in any other building in the city of Erie.
The ground breaking for the Masonic Temple was in the summer of 1909. In September of 1909, the architectural plans for the building were changed to include a sixth floor and penthouse, and the building was completed for occupancy during the summer of 1910.
In 1930, banquet facilities and a kitchen were added, located in the basement (Camelot Room today). In 1960, the automatic elevators were installed, and in 1964 a choir loft/balcony and accompanying wooden stairway to the choir loft was installed in the fourth floor Masonic Lodge Room.
The Masonic Temple was awarded the Erie County Historical Society's Preservation Stewardship Award in 1997 for maintaining a building of historic significance.
The Masonic Temple has recently undergone several large capital improvements to preserve the building for use by future generations. Upgrades to the heating, cooling, elevator, and electrical systems have all recently been completed. In addition to these behind the scene projects ongoing improvements are taking place in the common ares of the building to make the space more inviting and accommodating to our guest, while still preserving the building's historic character.
A large debt of gratitude is owed to the building's owner bodies for their continued support in maintaining the building. Their contributions, along with generous support from several private donors have made these improvements possible.