Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple

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Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple
Grand Lodge of Quebec
View of the front facade of the Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple
Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple
Alternative names Grande loge du Québec
General information
Status Operational
Architectural style Beaux-Arts
Location Downtown Montreal
Address 2295 Saint-Marc Street and 1805 Sherbrooke Street West
Town or city Montreal, Quebec
Country Canada
Coordinates 45°29′41″N 73°34′59″W / 45.494645°N 73.582982°W / 45.494645; -73.582982
Current tenants Various Masonic Lodges, Julien-Leblanc Traiteur and Centre De La Petite Enfance Genesis 87
Construction started 1929
Completed 1930
Inaugurated June 22, 1929
Owner Masonic Foundation of Quebec
Landlord Masonic Foundation of Quebec
Height
Top floor 7
Technical details
Lifts/elevators 2
Design and construction
Architect John Smith Archibald
Awards and prizes Royal Architectural Institute of Canada First Award, Class I, Monumental Buildings
Designated: 2001

The Montreal Masonic Memorial Temple is an historic masonic temple in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on the corner of Sherbrooke Street and St-Marc Street, in the Golden Square Mile district. Dedicated and officially opened June February 12, 1930, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2001, as an example of one of Canada’s most elegant buildings in the Beaux-Arts style.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

Main door of the Grand Lodge of Quebec flanked by the columns Boaz and Jachin.

The Masonic Memorial Temple was conceived as a meeting place for the Masonic order as well as a memorial to Freemasons who gave their lives during World War I, replacing a Masonic Temple that had existed in a mixed-use building on Dorchester Street since 1895. The order had renovations done in 1908 and began to raise funds for a new building in 1923. In 1928, they contracted architect John Smith Archibald, who had previously renovated the Dorchester Street Temple, to design a new temple and supervise its construction.

The ceremonial laying of the cornerstone took place on June 22, 1929, with thirty-six lodges and 2,000 Masons parading to the new temple from the Dorchester Street Temple. The Grand Lodge of Quebec met for the first time in the new temple on February 12, 1930, at its Sixtieth Annual Communication, on February 12, 1930. The temple commemorates Masons who died in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.[4]

Architect[edit]

Born and trained in architecture in Inverness, Scotland, Archibald came to Canada in 1893 under the employ of Edward Maxwell. Archibald and his colleague Charles Saxe then started their own firm until 1915. From 1915 until his death in 1934, Archibald mainly practiced alone. His major projects included a number of prominent hotels, such as additions to the Windsor Hotel, Château Laurier, Halifax Hotel, and the Hotel Vancouver. Other prominent commissions included the Montreal Forum, Baron Byng High School, Elizabeth Ballantyne School, the Queen’s University Gymnasium and Swimming Pool, Kingston (1930) and three Montreal hospitals: the Royal Edward Institute, the Montreal Convalescent Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital.[4]

Design[edit]

Dedication Cornerstone dated 22 June, A.L. 5929
Libertas Detail
Veritas Detail

The facades on Sherbrooke and St-Marc streets and are covered with Queenston limestone. The main facade, on Sherbrooke, has a base made of rusticated limestone and features four openings as well as a prominent central entrance, flanked by two free-standing columns topped by terrestrial and celestial spheres. The main door is made of detailed architectural bronze. A decorative belt course defines the upper part of the base and consists of ornamental carving and words in relief: FIDES, VERITAS, CARITAS, LIBERTAS, SPES ("Faith", "Truth", "Charity", "Liberty", and "Hope" in Modern English).

A December 1930 issue of Construction, "A Journal for the architectural, engineering and contracting interests of Canada" featured an illustrated article, praised the Temple:

Neither our great Canadian classicists nor such well-known American practitioners as McKim, Mead and White have produced anything finer in Grecian adaptation than this Montreal building. As a work of architectural merit it ranks with Henry Bacon’s Lincoln Memorial , John Russell Pope’s Temple of the Scottish Rite and McKim, Mead and White’s J.P. Morgan Library. The modern Canadian buildings that are nearest to its class are Cobb’s Toronto Registry Office and Lyle’s Bank of Nova Scotia, at Ottawa.

One year later, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada gave its First Award, Class I, Monumental Buildings, to the Montreal temple.

Conservation Project[edit]

On January 30 2010, the Honourable W. David Angus, Senator, has announced that the Government of Canada is delivering infrastructure funding of $425'000 to the Masonic Memorial Temple National Historic Site of Canada. [5]


References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°29′41″N 73°34′59″W / 45.4947°N 73.5830°W / 45.4947; -73.5830