Friday, June 5, 2015

Fresh Plans for Historic Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple (234-238 S. Brand Blvd.) was added
to the Glendale Register of Historic Resources in 1997.
The life of the Masonic Temple has taken many unexpected twists and turns since it was built on the cusp of the Great Depression. Its latest chapter promises to breath new life into one of Glendale's most prominent landmarks. 

The Masonic Temple was built in 1928 for the Unity Lodge. As fortune would have it, they only owned the building until 1934 when it was lost to foreclosure. Although the building continued to be occupied by several Masonic groups in the decades to follow, its lack of windows and unusual floor plan made it difficult to occupy. Its last tenant, A Noise Within Theater Company, occupied the lower floors of the building from 1991 to 2011. In 2013, the building owner obtained approval for several alterations and upgrades that were started but never completed. 

The recent acquisition of the Masonic Temple by Caruso Affiliated will revitalize this historic landmark by allowing the unusually configured interior spaces to meet the needs of a modern office environment, while retaining its historic character and eligibility to continue listing on Glendale's Register of Historic Resource.

The Historic Preservation Commission has reviewed and approved Caruso Affiliated's rehabilitation proposal (Commission meetings held on 04/16/15 & 05/21/15). Highlights of the proposed renovations include: 
  • Restoration of the entry facade and its related features including entry arch, ironwork, the window above the primary door, black granite cladding at the base of the entire south facade, the two arches a the sides of the entry and the storefronts at the north and south side of the main entrance,
  • the installation of an open steel frame stair tower adjacent to the southwest corner of the building, 
  • the installation of lighting and signage on the primary facade, 
  • infilling existing windows and openings at the south, east & north facades and addition of new windows on the same facades. 
  • the installation of new contemporary windows and folding door openings on the facade facing Central Park.

Once the project is completed, the rehabilitated Masonic Temple building will be suitable for reuse as rental office building with commercial space at the ground floor. For more information about this project, please contact the City's Urban Design and Mobility Division at (818) 937-8333.