T he location where the Dayton Masonic Center now stands was referred to as the Stoddard property. Until a few years ago this building was the Dayton Masonic Temple. In keeping with current standards and social mores, it was renamed.
The Stoddard property was purchased by Dayton Consistory, and given to the fourteen then existing Masonic bodies. Ground breaking for the new building began July 20, 1925. The Masonic Temple Association was chartered to manage financing and representation for the fourteen Masonic bodies. A building committee was appointed May 2, 1923.
Quoting from a book produced for the 75th anniversary celebration:
Without thought of honor or gain, these men gave unstintingly o f their time, abilities and means, sparing neither themselves nor their personal interests to advance this building project to its happy fulfillment.
Construction & Cost
Original construction cost of the Temple was approximately two and one half million dollars. Duplication of the building today is conservatively estimated at thirty million dollars. It is doubtful if the Temple could be duplicated today in view of the fact that many materials used in the original construction of the Temple are now quite scarce, if available at all.
In recent years additional land has been acquired adjacent to the Temple, a portion of which has been converted into a parking area that accommodates approximately two hundred fifty automobiles. The balance of the surrounding area is beautifully landscaped, adding natural beauty to the entire complex.
Timetable: Groundbreaking: July 20, 1925
Cornerstone laid: May 19, 1926
Building open: April 1, 1928
Construction time: Two years, nine months
Number of workers: 450, a majority of whom were Masonic Brethren
Cost: $2.5 million in 1926
Today’s Cost: Over $40 million
Style of Architecture: Grecian
Size of Lot: Approximately 8 1/2 acres
Dimensions of Building: 265 feet long by 190 feet wide by 80 feet high, equivalent to an 8-story building in height!
Cubic Space: 5 million cubic feet
Steel: 1,700 tons Cement: 85,000 bags
Sand: 6,540 tons Gravel: 13,500 tons
Stone: 55,000 cubic feet Bedford stone and 15,000 cubic feet hard limestone
Marble: 20 train carloads of Vermont, Alabama and Tennessee marble used for interior floors, wainscotings, partitions and stairways
Lime: 350 tons
Plaster: 1,200 tons
Wire: 500,000 feet
Brick: 2 millions bricks
Carpet: 5,000 yards
Partition Tile: 1,600 tons