The abandoned Ashlar Lodge No. 639 Masonic Temple, located in the Miles Park neighbourhood in Cleveland, Ohio, is a noted Cleveland Landmark. It ceased to be used as a lodge in 1969, although the building was reused for other purposes until the 1990’s.
A contract was let by the Illuminating Building on February 1, 1916, for the construction of a three- to five-story temple for a lodge Lodge at 8910 Miles Park Avenue in what was then the village of Newburgh. 1 It was to contain a concrete foundation, solid brick walls, tile and joist floors, tile partitions, and a brick and terra cotta exterior with an estimated of $65,000.
William J. Carter was selected as the architect. 4 Carter was born in Cleveland and was a descendant of Lorenzo Carter, the first permanent settler in the city. He was a civil engineer with various industrial firms before being appointed the U.S. Government Quartermaster’s Department Superintendent of Construction in Portland, Maine. Carter returned to become Cleveland City Engineer in 1901.
At a meeting held on November 9, 1916, in a Masonic lodge at 8444 Broadway, plans for the organisation was circulated for the new Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. 3 6 A petition for Dispensation was written up and on March 1, 1917, Ashlar Lodge No. 639 was established. The first meeting was held on May 31 in the new temple.
The Formal Constitution and Consecration took place on November 1. 6
In the spring of 1969, the Newburgh Masonic Temple voted to place their building for sale due to increasing maintenance and a lack of secure parking. 3 6
After consideration, Ashlar Lodge moved to Bedford Masonic Temple at 38 Tarbell Avenue in Bedford. 6
Emmanuel Lodge No. 605, due to declining attendance, appointed a Committee on Consolidation in the fall of 1984. 6 It was recommended that the lodge consolidate with the Ashlar Lodge, which was codified on December 6. A ballot was taken on January 17, 1985, and was passed unanimously. Emmanuel Lodge merged with the Ashlar Lodge on April 1.
Due to some issues at the Bedford temple, a committee was formed in the fall of 1985 to devise a course of action for the Ashlar Lodge. 6 In the spring of 1986, the committee recommended that the lodge relocate to the Maple Heights Masonic Temple at 5185 Lee Road in Maple Heights. The relocation occurred in the summer of 1986.
The Maple Heights location was considered temporary due to its size. 6 In the spring of 1990, a visit was made to the Summit Masonic Temple in Twinsburg. After some thought, the Ashlar Lodge moved to the Summit Masonic Temple at 9545 Shephard Road on August 1, 1991.
By 1978, the Newburg temple was for sale. 2 A warranty deed was filed on November 19, 1976, to Southern Travelers for $55,000, who filed a quit claim deed on February 6, 1989, to Rev. D.B. Ross. 5 It was reverted to Southern Travelers under a judgement entry on April 1, 1991, and was forfeited on February 21, 2013.
[su_spoiler title=”Sources” icon=”caret”]
- “Ohio.” Engineering and Contracting 17 Nov. 1915: 30. Print.
- Esrati, Stephen G. “From Manx to Cleveland – with love.” Plain-Dealer [Cleveland] 2 Jul. 1978: 13-E. Print.
- “The History of Ashlar Lodge.” Ashlar Lodge #639. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. Article.
- “William J Carter.” Cleveland Landmarks Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. Article.
- “O134-08-02.” Cuyahoga County Auditor. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
- “Masonic History Timeline.” Ashlar Lodge 639. Article.