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Masonic Grand Lodge

Downtown Topeka, Kansas

Master Plan & National Register Nomination

The Masonic Grand Lodge has served as the headquarters for the Kansas Masons since 1856, and in its current location since 1917. Located prominently across the street from the Kansas Statehouse, the building houses offices for the Grand Lodge, the library and museum of Kansas Masonry, and the archive for organizational records.

In 2014, the Kansas Freemasons and the Kansas Masonic Foundation initiated planning for the Grand Lodge’s future. The organizations worked with Treanor Architects to develop a master plan for the building and prepare a National Register of Historic Places nomination.

The Masonic Grand Lodge has been carefully maintained over the course of its existence and much of the original historic fabric remains intact. The master plan detailed the following work to protect the historic nature of the building while ensuring it supports future operational needs:

  • Renovate space for employees for four organizations including the Kansas Masonic Foundation, Kansas Freemasons, Order of the Eastern Star and York Rite
  • Renovate the ground floor for a new lodge room
  • Renovate existing spaces for shared amenities such as conference room, kitchen/break room, lobby, museum/library and restrooms
  • Restore historic steel windows, replace non-historic windows and install storm windows
  • Restore and repair exterior limestone masonry and exterior copper elements
  • Repair concrete tile roof
  • Restore metal handrails and wood flooring
  • Integrate new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems into the historic fabric of the building
  • Install and integrate new fire and life-safety systems
  • Install new accessible passenger elevator to serve all floors
  • Install rear fire exit stair

The Masonic Grand Lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in October 2014. The Classical Revival-style building was designed by notable New York-based architect Edward Lippincott Tilton, whose body of work includes the first phase of buildings at Ellis Island and several Carnegie libraries. The Masonic Grand Lodge was nominated for its local significance in the areas of architecture and social history.