New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Masonic Lodge

I had a difficult time selecting an image to represent this site, so please take a moment and click here for a series of 8 photos on one of the most remarkably unexpected spaces in the city. After all, isn't the very concept of a Lodge something we associate with the suburbs? I was completely amazed to find a place like this in Manhattan at 71 W. 23rd Street. This building is the New York Grand Lodge Headquarters for the Freemasons - over 60 lodges meet here in 12 stately rooms with pipe organs in every room. The Masons actually own two buildings here (see building history here) - the one facing 23rd is an office building - rental income helps support the actual Lodge building which faces 24th Street. A long portico provides access from 23rd Street. They have a two-story auditorium-style Grand Lodge room which seats 1200 people. This two-century old secret society has seen a slow decline in membership, so it has become a little more interested in attracting new members. They have a history of doing philanthropic work including underwriting medical research. Their members include many famous individuals - 14 presidents (among them George Washington), Ben Franklin, Beethoven and Mozart, Clark Gable, Houdini, Count Basie. Tours are available M-F, so go there and check it out...

About this photo: This was taken during the weekend of Open House New York. For more information, see their website here.

11 comments:

Carlos said...

After examining the 8 pictures, I settle for the one you featured. But believe, this is one of the most spectacular buildings I have ever seen in my whole life. I have enjoyed watching them.

Brian said...

Thanks - it really is a space and time warp being in this place.
Brian

Alex said...

Wow! what an imposing and grandiose place and furniture! Do they still hold meetings in this room?
Cheers from Boston!

Brian said...

All the rooms are used, as imposing and grandiose as they may be.
Brian

Anonymous said...

Masons are not permitted to "recruit". No one is ever asked to join. If a person wants to join they have to ask of there own free will and accord. They can show you the lodge and talk about Masonry but it stops there.

NYC TAXI SHOTS said...

groovy

James said...

A great image.....

is this the St. Cecilia Masonic Branch?...the actor's one?

Gail's Man said...

I'm surprised they have Masons in the US, as it's a secret, some say suspicious British society that goes back to the days when castles were built.

Richard said...

Freemasonry is not a secret. Every state in the U.S. has Masonic Lodges. Masons do not conceal their membership, in fact the opposite is the truth.

Anonymous said...

This the Glorious Grand Lodge of the State of New friends. Nice photo's. Very Nice indeed.

kathy said...

Wonderful pictures, Brian. I agree the with the other fellow that you picked the best picture for your feature picture. I recently found out the my great-grandfather who died long before I was born was WM of the Metropolitan Lodge and instrumental in forming the Crescent Lodge. After the Civil War, he was instrumental in forming the Mamaro Lodge and was WM.