Another link between Chester and its historic past is about to be lost, writes Colin Ainsworth for the Daily Times.
The Masonic Temple in Chester will be closing its doors for good in December and will be put on the market. Chester Lodge #236 Free and Accepted Masons has surrendered its charter and is merging its members into Penn Lodge #709 in Concord Township.
“I will definitely miss this lodge room and this building,” said Chester Lodge Worshipful Master Joe Walls. “When I got my First Degree (a stage of masonic initiation), I was thinking, ‘Holy cow, look at this place!’”
Lodge #236 has been calling the Chester temple its home for 97 of its 169 years. It was built in 1921 for $498,000 or around $7 million today.
Now the estimated $20,000 annual maintenance costs for the building have become unsustainable, as membership has dropped over the decades. It now stands at around 190 members, according to Secretary and Past Master Steve Beddow.
The building includes marble staircases, its original cable elevator, two lodge rooms, meeting rooms, and an auditorium with balcony that once hosted community entertainment productions.
Read more about the closing of the Masonic Temple in Chester in the Daily Times by clicking here.