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Masonic Temple

Housed in a building originally called The Tyrell Block, the Masonic Temple would hold meetings and other social gatherings on the second and third floors of this building at 310 Chicago Street. Dr. Pierce Tyrell, from County Tipperary, Ireland, had a medical practice in the building from 1868 to 1914. The three story compressed brick building would cost about $15,000 to build. The building is 33,000 square feet with room enough for 1,400 auditorium seats or 500 banquet seats.  

The Masons would move out in 1903 and The Elgin City Club, a bicycle club, would take their place. After the bicycle craze died down, it was turned into a social and athletic club, with tubs and showers added to accommodate the trade. In 1914, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles would occupy portions of the building, and billiards, a kitchen and a library would be added.

In 1991, the building was bought by Wonderland Communications, a Christian communications company. They would use it as a recording, graphic arts facility and direct marketing company. In 1995, the business would be augmented to include a ballroom.


    

As occasionally happens, information on this site is erroneous, or incomplete.  It seems like the information above describes a different building, which was pointed out through an e-mail from Cathy Newby, based on information provided to her from her husband James Newby, who is a member of Monitor Lounsbury Lodge 522.  The information below is contained in that e-mail:  

For many years (Masonic)  meetings were held in the old Bosworth Hall on Fountain Square. In 1887 John Lee Borden fitted up elaborate quarters on the fourth floor of the Home National Bank building. In 1901 quarters were taken up in the Masonic Temple on Spring Street,
erected by Monitor Lodge.

On Tuesday, November 16, 1920 Monitor Lodge had the misfortune to
suffer a fire, the loss of its Temple as well as all of its furniture, paraphernalia, books, records and all other property. Many of the lodges in the Elgin and Chicago area demonstrated that they learned well the lessons of Masonry by making generous offers to replace much of the equipment used in a lodge.

On November 24th , 1920 approximately 1200 Masons met at the Elgin State Hospital to discuss the need of a new Temple. This meeting
proved to be the greatest gathering of men ever held in the city of
Elgin. At the request of their respective Masters, Brethren: F. T.
Norris,

W. C. Rippberger, L. W. McGill, C. W. Lehmann, E. J. Oeirne, J. M.
Stewart,W. B. Kirkpatrick, E. F. Gardner, R. T. Hinton, E. H. Abbott, A. L.
Paulson, O. M. Chappell, P. S. Sawtelle, D. H. Rotcher, H. C. Eldred, and F. E. Hallock met as a committee and eventually made recommendations for financing and erecting a new Masonic Temple to be located a 310 E. Chicago Street.

The following Brethren were elected to supervise this great and
important undertaking: E. H. Abbott, J. C. Barclay and F. E. Hallock
of Elgin Lodge, No. 117 with P. S. Sawtelle, E. J. Oeirne and A. L.
Paulson of Monitor Lodge, No. 522, who incorporated the project under the laws of Illinois as the Masonic Temple Association of Elgin,
Illinois. The estimated cost of the building was about $200,000.

After years of foreseen financial problems, to keep and maintain the
beautiful Masonic building, located at 310 E. Chicago St. in Elgin,
it was decided to put the building up for sale. The building was sold
for $163,000 on March 22, 1991 causing the Masons of Elgin and all
appendant bodies to find new locations. Elgin Lodge #117 remodeled a vacant church.

Monitor Lodge #522 held its next stated meeting on Thursday April 18, 1991 in the Lodge rented from Lounsbury Lodge #751.

Thank you to Cathy Newby, for that comprehensive report.  

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