Architects Comments

The matter of a place for the repose of the Lodge Charter when it is present at the Master�s station is important. Formerly, it was carelessly deposited almost anywhere about the Master�s pedestal, and it was frequently moved or kicked around. To give it a dignified and secure position, brackets were required to be built into the Master�s pedestal and a permanent position thus assigned to the Charter.

The effect intended at the Master�s station of the Colonial Lodge room is that of a porch or entrance to a Colonial mansion, and as the Master wears the Master�s hat, it was thought that the appearance might be that of the Master sitting outside the house, rather than within it, and thus the wearing of the hat be strictly in keeping with polite usage as well as with essential Masonic practice.

The Gothic Room is designed primarily for the York Rite bodies, and is intended to serve their purpose. Practically all of the fittings appropriate for their functions were installed as directed.

The Auditorium, intended for larger gatherings, is generally used for Shrine, York, and Scottish Rite works. There is not too much of Masonic significance apparent, because this room is the one into which the public is frequently admitted. However, the magnesium glow lights in the dome are intended to symbolize the canopy of heaven. The curtains, which can be drawn across the four arches, converting the cross-shaped room into a more compact space, are of dyed Repp, and depict the workman in the forest, quarry, and at the site constructing King Solomon�s Temple.

The scenery on the stage of this room, which is used mainly by the Scottish Rite and York Rite degrees, is quite priceless and should have some mention. Originally it hung in the old Temple at First South and Second East Streets. It was painted by a famous scenic artist and the committee was reluctant to part with it. Yet the sizes of the drops were entirely too small for the new stage. It happened that the artist who painted it was alive, although about seventy years old. He was induced to come to Salt Lake to enlarge the sets and to refinish them. About ten to fifteen feet were added to the width and five to ten to the height by cutting and splicing in new pieces at the top, at the bottom, sides, or center according to the design. Then the new parts were entirely painted, and the old parts touched up or painted over, as was necessary. It is considered a remarkable job and is one of the last works of the artist, Thomas G. Moses, who died in 1934, depicted so well the background of the higher Rite degrees, yet he had received the Blue Lodge degrees of Masonry only.

The costumes used in the various co-ordinate degrees are a priceless collection of authentic historic wardrobe and accessories, not excelled in Masonic collections to be found anywhere, and are replicas of the costumes worn in the periods which the degrees portray, from ancient Egyptian on down through the centuries to our own Revolutionary period. This collection was gathered from time to time as necessity arose from the outstanding costumers of the country and represents a collection not only of great historic value but of considerable monetary value as well. Accessories such as armor, mediaeval weapons, swords, headgear, etc., are not to be excelled in museum collections of prominence anywhere in the country and the brethren in charge are to be complemented on the care they give these priceless treasures.

The column caps in the banquet room have been the subject of considerable Masonic interest. Many Masons recognize some of the symbols depicted and most Masons feel that all of Masonry that is illustrated in the Temple is featured in these caps and have not discovered it elsewhere. The modeling on these caps is purposefully garbled to conceal from the public, but not from a Master Mason some of the work of the Craft. It was not found possible to instruct the modeler as to what was wanted without telling him more than he had the right to know. The author of this record, as a last resort, did this modeling himself, and the crudeness of the work perhaps serves to better conceal its meaning. Careful observation will disclose that almost every important part of the three degrees of Masonry is suggested at some place in the design.

Of course, everything intended and attempted did not turn out as well as it might. Some things didn�t turn out at all. Most of the mistakes have perhaps been corrected or forgotten. But it is still believed that the work of those who designed and build the Temple measures up well with Masonic Temples elsewhere.


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