Filed Under Great Falls

Masonic Temple, Great Falls

Great Falls Central Business Historic District

Freemasons trace their history to the stonemasons of Medieval Europe, an association referenced in the design for the Great Falls Masonic Temple. Constructed in 1914, the three-story building features a dramatic central tower and steep gable bays that rise above the roofline. Those features evoke Tudor England, as do the arched doorways and the narrow, multi-paned windows surrounded by stone. Festive, multicolored brick, stone, and terra cotta and heavily bracketed balconies echo the Spanish style. Montana architects associated that style with recreation. Indeed, in addition to providing office and meeting space for Great Falls’ Masonic lodges, the building featured a banquet hall, billiard room, stage, ballroom, and card-playing parlors. Johannes Van Teylingen designed the building, which cost $100,000 to construct. Then a young draftsman employed by architect W. R. Mowery, Van Teylingen would become a well-known architect. This building suggests why. For its design Van Teylingen used architectural symbolism to create a monument—both to the Masons’ mythic past and to their place in the social, cultural, and civic life of Great Falls.

Images

Masonic Temple Masonic Temple (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R24 F24). Front view of the building, facing north on Central Avenue near the corner of Central and 9th Street North. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
Masonic Temple Masonic Temple (PAc 91-51 Great Falls R25 F25). Side to front view of the building, facing west to northwest on 9th Street North near the intersection of 9th Street North and Central Avenue. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1983
Masonic Temple Masonic Temple. Front view of the building, facing north on Central Avenue near the corner of Central and 9th Street North. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Apr. 2013
Masonic Temple Masonic Temple. Front to side view of the building, facing northwest on the corner of Central Avenue and 9th Street North. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: Apr. 2013

Location

821 Central Avenue, Great Falls, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Masonic Temple, Great Falls,” Historic Montana, accessed December 5, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/188.