Detroit's Masonic Temple (The Masonic) is the largest building of its kind in the world. Construction began in 1920 and was completed in 1926.
By 1908, interest and membership in Masonic fraternities had grown to such an extent that the Masonic Temple Association of Detroit began to consider either enlarging the existing Masonic Temple on Lafayette Boulevard or building a new, larger facility.
Land on Bagg Street (now Temple Avenue) was acquired and by 1920, the architectural firm George Mason and Company had completed an integrated design of a multi-function complex. Ground was broken on Thanksgiving Day, 1920. The cornerstone was laid on September 18, 1922, during a ceremony attended by thousands of Detroiters, using a trowel previously used by George Washington during the construction of the U.S. Capitol.
The opening of the theater was celebrated during a concert by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ossip Gabrilowitsch, on February 22, 1926--George Washington's birthday. The formal dedication of the building took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1926 and thousands of Detroiters were present for the ceremony.
In April 2013, the building was reported to be in foreclosure over $152,000 in back taxes owed to Wayne County. The debt was paid off in May 2013, and in June 2013, it was revealed that $142,000 of the bill was footed by singer-songwriter Jack White, a Detroit native known for his work with The White Stripes. He wanted to help the temple in its time of need as they had helped his mother in a time of need: the temple gave her a job as an usher in the theater when she was struggling to find work. In response, the Detroit Masonic Temple Association renamed its Scottish Rite cathedral the Jack White Theater.
The largest theater in the building is the Masonic Theater which is a 54,000 square ft 4650 seat concert hall that is a World-renowned showcase for top talent. see a 360 degree view
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