While some parts of Bushwick are set to be wholly destroyed (read: former site of the Rheingold Brewery), it’s nice to know some things may be around forever. Such is the case with the neighborhood’s Ridgewood Masonic Temple, which recently received landmark status from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Yesterday, the Commission granted Ridgewood Lodge No. 710, located near the intersection of Bushwick and Gates Avenues, the gift of preservation status in light of its 94 years on this Earth, Beaux-Arts-influenced architecture and its role as “an excellent example of early-20th century neighborhood club architecture,” Curbed reports.
The Masonic Temple is lucky to have survived as long as it has, in fact. In 2010, it narrowly escaped development efforts to transform it into a mansion or condos (it was also the site of a Sleigh Bells concert).
On the more historical side of things, the Temple is most significant for its gorgeous façade, which features “a rusticated stone base, terra-cotta details (including Masonic symbols), two-story arched bays containing a multi-pane sash, Ionic columns at the entry portico, a terra-cotta cornice decorated with an egg and dart molding and dentils, and a brick parapet with terra-cotta coping blocks,” according to the LPC’s official statement.
And yet, the building remains woefully vacant (the Masons decamped for the Astoria Lodge a while back) and that gigantic temple is just waiting for some go-getter to turn it into a one-of-a-kind performing arts center or concert venue. Anyone interested?
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