Philadelphia Sights

Masonic Temple

  • 1 N. Broad St. Map It
  • Center City East
  • Building/Architectural Site

Published 02/01/2016

Fodor's Review

The temple is one of the city's architectural jewels, but it remains a hidden treasure even to many Philadelphians. Historically, Freemasons were skilled stoneworkers of the Middle Ages who relied on secret signs and passwords. Their worldwide fraternal order—the Free and Accepted Masons—included men in the building trades, plus many honorary members; the secret society prospered in Philadelphia during Colonial times. Brother James Windrim designed this elaborate temple as a home for the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. The ceremonial gavel used here at the laying of the cornerstone in 1868, while 10,000 brothers looked on, was the same one that Brother George Washington used to set the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. The temple's ornate interior consists of seven lavishly decorated lodge halls built to exemplify specific styles of architecture: Corinthian, Ionic, Italian Renaissance, Norman, Gothic, Oriental, and Egyptian. The Egyptian hall, with its accurate hieroglyphics, is the most famous. The temple also houses an interesting museum of Masonic items, including Benjamin Franklin's printing of the first book on Freemasonry published in America and George Washington's Masonic Apron.

Sight Information

Address:

1 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107, USA

Map It

Phone:

215-988–1900

Sight Details:

  • $7 for library and museum only; tours $13
  • Tours Tues.–Fri. 10, 11, 1, 2, and 3; Sat. 10, 11, and noon

Published 02/01/2016

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