Friday, November 16, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: The exterior of the Maywood Masonic Temple, after the building’s cornice was recently removed. | File
Anyone who has passed by the Maywood Multipurpose Building, more widely known as the Maywood Masonic Temple, at 200 S. 5th Ave., might be in for a pleasant, if relatively subtle, surprise.
After months of work (which is still in progress, as exterior scaffolding makes clear), the badly deteriorated cornice of the historic building has been removed and the masonry bands behind the cornice mostly repaired.
The result is a much cleaner exterior, even though the extended cornice, an element of the famous Prairie School out of which the building’s design arises, is currently missing. According to village documents, the cornice will be stored “safely on site for future reinstallation.”
According to village officials, the Masonic Temple Building was constructed in 1917 and designed by Eben Ezra Roberts, an American architect who was noted for his Prairie Style homes. Roberts was a rival and contemporary of famous Prairie School pioneer Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Masonic Temple, village officials said, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 and listed as a local landmark in 2009.
The four-story, 12,000-square-foot brick and limestone building served as the Maywood Lodge Masonic Temple from its dedication in May 1917 until the 1980s, according to architect Frank Heitzman.
For at least the last decade, the Temple building has functioned as a multipurpose recreational space, with the building’s stately top floors closed off from the public.
In 2015, some local preservationists advocated that the building be converted into a Village Hall.
The building’s cavernous space and its history of underutilization, supporters of the idea said at the time, make it an ideal fit for a future village hall.
According to preliminary estimates, repairs on the building were estimated to cost no more than around $48,000.
Below is a photo of what the building looked like with the cornice:
And the following is what it looks like now.
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