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01 Grand Lodge Front
The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York was established in 1781/1782.

Reverend William Walter was elected the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York.

The Bible used when George Washington was the first President sworn into office is now used in the ceremony swearing in the Grand Master in New York and the President of the country in Washington DC.

The Masonic Hall was built in 1913 by architect Harry P. Knowles, a Master Mason himself, but the current lodge meeting rooms were restored by the interior restaurateur Felix Chavez from 1986 to 1996. We were shocked to learn that each strikingly ornate room is actually all painted plaster: from imitation stone to reliefs to frescoes, we were certainly tricked by Chavez’s manipulation of plaster to resemble high quality materials

04 Grand Lodge Room 4

24 GL Renaissance Room 1

The Renaissance Room is the pride of the Masonic Hall of New York. Here, the detailed ornament in the Renaissance style is so striking that it’s easy to forget that it is all plaster and paint posing as stone and gold.

11 GL Corinthian Room

Fun Fact about the Corinthian Room is that they used up their budget and had to leave each panel a plain colour forgoing the decorative plans Chavez had devised.

12 GL Doric Room

The Doric Room, where the meeting was held, has imitation marble engaged columns that are strikingly realistic.

14 GL French Doric Room

Not to be confused with the Doric Room, the French Doric Room has some additional “French” touches…

13 GL Empire Room

The Empire Room.

16 GL Gothic Room 1

In the Gothic Room, the ceiling is painted with the stars of the night sky symbolizing the unity and equality of all men in the universe.

08 GL Chapter Room 1

The motif of the Chapter Room is quite obviously reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian architecture and ornament.

The Masonic Hall is actually two connected buildings, one on 23rd St. with commercial tenants to help fund the organization and the other on 24th St. with rooms for lodge meetings.

To view all photographs that were taken on our trip click here.

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