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Masonic Temple

Place Details
Place ID 600074
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name Masonic Temple
Place Classification Built
Place Category Social and Community
Place Type Hall - masonic/lodge/friendly or benefit society
Themes 8 Creating social and cultural institutions / 8.6 Commemorating significant events
8 Creating social and cultural institutions / 8.3 Organisations and societies
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address 311 Ann Street
Post Code 4000

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1928-1930 (Fabric)
Criterion A The Masonic Temple was built as a monument to Freemasonry in Queensland and as a World War I memorial and is held in high esteem within the Masonic community.
Criterion B The Masonic Temple is an exceptional example of a Masonic Temple in Australia, it is the only dedicated Grand Hall in Australia which is capable of accommodating a Grand Installation.
Criterion D The Masonic Temple is a fine example of a Classical Revival building designed by LL Powell with particularly fine workmanship evident in its details. The building is significanct for its substantial intactness both externally and internally.
Criterion E The Masonic Temple is significanct for its contribution to the streetscape of Ann Street brought to prominence by the scale of its facade with its giant order Corinthian columns. The Masonic Temple is significant for the grandeur of its internal spaces especially the Grand Hall and the Court of Remembrance around its Memorial Urn.

History The Masonic Temple was constructed between 1928 and 1930. In April 1921 the United Grand Lodge of Queensland was formed by the union of the 281 Freemasons' lodges in Queensland. To commemorate the union the Grand Lodge agreed to construct a centrally located temple. In December 1921 land in Ann Street, with a 77 feet (23.5 metres) frontage and depth of 148 feet (54.1 metres), was purchased. In December 1922 an additional 6.3 perches (159.4 square metres) was acquired to make the site symmetrical. The total cost of the land was £6 874. In June 1923 a competition was held to produce a design for the temple. On 8 December 1924 the plans of Lange Powell (Freemason) of Atkinson, Powell and Conrad, were chosen from the 16 entries submitted. The design provided a four storey building, with a basement for the caretaker and storerooms. The ground floor held the executive offices of the Grand Lodges of Queensland, a library and a museum. In the centre of the large circular vestibule was the Urn of Remembrance to Brethren who died in First World War. The first floor comprised supper rooms and the second held the lodge rooms. The Grand Lodge room, approximately 91 by 71 by 32 feet (27.7 by 21.6 by 9.7 metres), on the top floor, seated 1100 people, and was described in the Architecture and Building Journal in February 1928 as the "largest and finest of its kind in Australia". The tender of £101 171 from Messrs George A Stronach and Son, builders, was accepted. On 25 April 1928 Most Worshipful Brother Justice Charles Stumm laid the foundation stone. A capsule was placed beneath the stone which contained copies of the 4 Metropolitan newspapers of 24 April 1928, duplicate cheques contributed by Lodges and Brethren, a copy of the Grand Master's speech and coins. Building commenced in May 1928. The temple was completed in 1930 at a cost of £103 000, plus £10 000 for furniture. Freemasons throughout Queensland contributed towards the expense. On 9 December 1930 Sir John Goodwin, Governor of Queensland, unveiled and dedicated the memorial urn and the following day the Temple was opened and dedicated as a memorial to fallen Brethren, a symbol of Masonic unity in Queensland and as a monument to Freemasonry in Queensland. Since 1930 the hall has been the centre of Masonic activity in Queensland.

Description The Masonic Temple located in upper Ann Street is built in the Classical Revival style. It is rectangular in plan form with its short elevation facing Ann Street. The front facade features six fluted giant order Corinthian columns supporting a rich entablature and pediment. Between the two central columns are lead-light steel framed windows and the main entry door at the base of the building. The sliding entry doors are bronze and heavily studded. In the bays between columns to either side of the entry are two bronze flagstaffs. The lower portion of the front is a grey granite base containing the foundation stone. The rest of the building has a concrete frame structure encased with both brick and sandstone. The front facade above the granite base is sandstone from Yangan, Queensland. The initial structure was designed to allow for the possible addition of extra storeys at a future date. Internally on the ground floor level directly behind the entry is the Hall of Remembrance with its central urn surrounded by eight free standing Tuscan columns arranged in a circle. Above this is a floor of lodge rooms arranged around a central corridor, and on the level above there are supper rooms arranged in a similar fashion. The top level is mainly taken up by the Grand Hall, a large symmetrical open space with a vaulted coffered ceiling and stepped seating facing the centre. The walls of the hall are surrounded by evenly spaced paired Corinthian pilasters. The floors are connected by a staircase consisting of varying coloured marble, white Carrara and black Buchan for the main stair with a green dado. A multi-coloured marble mosaic is a feature of the landing. The stair also features a wrought iron balustrade with polished timber handrail, and is top lit from above. The symmetrical facade and overscale columns give the building great presence as part of the streetscape in this portion of Ann Street.

Element Name Masonic Temple
Designer Name Powell, Lange Leopold
Style Classicism
Design Period 1919 - 1930s Interwar period
Builder Name Stronach, George A & Son
Construction Period 1928 - 1930
Construction Method Frame - concrete
Fabric (Exterior Structure) Brick
Place Components Memorial - chamber/room

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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