(as published in the Temple Tidings, 2010)
by Michael T. Heitke, Director
Robert Monteith Masonic Library and Museum
In 1891, the First Presbyterian Church on Wisconsin Avenue was purchased and remodeled into a Masonic Temple. In 1915, Brothers James and Edward Law, of Law and Law Architects, drew up plans for a new Masonic Temple. World War I interrupted the plans for a new Temple. After the war, Law and Law Architects drew up new plans for an even larger Temple. In November 1922, the plans were announced to build a new Masonic Temple that would cost at least $500,000. On the afternoon of May 14, 1923, the first shovel of earth was lifted by Brother John H. Corscot which started the construction of the new building.
The Cornerstone of the Madison Temple of Freemasonry was laid October 31, 1923. Charles F. Lamb, Grand Master, presided. John H. Corscot, Past Grand Master, acted as Grand Master in laying the stone. Charles E. Whelan, Past Grand Master, delivered the address.
The structure size of the building is 112 feet wide and 182 feet long. The land acquired, prior to the building of the Temple, cost some $56,000 and was appraised in 1923 at over $97,000. The new building, inclusive of fixed and attached equipment, cost $519,000. The general furnishings cost $68,000. Total value of the property in 1923 was $684,000.
(to be continued...)
On September 30, 1925, the dedication of the Madison Masonic Center was headlined in the Wisconsin State Journal. Designed by Madison architects James R. and Edward J. Law, the Masonic Center is an official state and local landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Read more by clicking here.)
Today, this landmark building continues to house the activities of Freemasonry and is also available to the community as a downtown resource for events and meetings.
Housed in the Madison Masonic Center is the Robert Monteith Masonic Library and Museum. This educational resource and impressive collection of historical Masonic memorabilia is open to the public from 9am to 4pm weekdays and can be visited at other times by request. For more information contact the library/museum curator Michael Heitke at email@example.com, or call the Madison Masonic Center Office at (608) 256-5734.
Housed in our building is the Children's Dyslexia Center - Madison which provides one-on-one tutoring to children with dyslexia. The tutoring is provided free of charge using the Orton Gillingham based program which is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).
In 1994 Scottish Rite Masons launched a major effort to help families, individuals and communities deal with the lifelong burdens of dyslexia. With 49 centers in all 15 states of the Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction, no other national charity has made such a commitment to the alleviation of the problems of learning disabilities. They have been able to realize effective results, both anecdotally and statistically.
Madison's center is located on the Johnson Street level of the building and has eight tutoring rooms where certified tutors and tutor trainees work with approximately 40 students on an individual basis twice a week -- one tutor to one student.
For more information contact the CDC-Madison Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cdc-madison.org.