The Scottish Rite Masonic Center
This Historic Landmark has stood in downtown Savannah for more than 85 years as a monument to Masonry. In the late 1800's a group of Masons decided that an effort should be made to erect a Masonic Building that would accommodate the various Blue Lodges and appendant bodies which for over a hundred years had not had a permanent home. On May 2, 1896, the Masonic Temple Association was incorporated and immediately began to accumulate funds which would eventually reach a quarter of a million dollars. This was done through donations and the sale of stock to individuals and the various Masonic organizations in the area. The land upon which the Masonic Center stands was purchased in November 1895 for the sum of $22,500, before the Masonic Center Foundation was chartered. In 1903, a general appeal was made to all the masonic organizations for additional support and the response was very encouraging to the leaders of the Association. In 1912 the fund had grown to the extent that the Dreamers who saw in their visions a new and handsome home for Savannah Masonry were ready to proceed with what would be a source of pride for the fraternity and an ornament to the city of Savannah. In the fall of 1912 the contract was awarded for the building and the corner store was laid June 30, 1913, by Most Worshipful Robert L. Colding, Grand Master of Masons in Georgia, with several thousand people in attendance.
As time wore on and support waned, the rising cost of completing the construction of the Masonic Center became more than the Association could meet. In 1917, it became apparent that the Association would not be able to meet it's responsibilities and the contractor received a judgement against it. After a time of legal maneuvering three Scottish Rite Masons obtained a loan an proceeded to complete the construction. The Building was completed in 1923 and deeded to the Scottish Rite. Even though it has been known as the Scottish Rite Temple for these many years it has been home to all Masonry, and is now rightfully known as the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.
For these many years, maintenance and upkeep of the Center has been supported through the general fund of the Savannah Scottish Rite. In 1999 The Scottish Rite Masonic Center Preservation Foundation, Inc. was chartered and granted tax exempt status by the IRS. The Masonic Center Endowment Fund has been established under this Foundation to support the maintenance and upkeep of this beautiful Historic Masonic Landmark. Tax-deductible contributions may be mailed to the address here and additional information may be obtained by calling or writing the Savannah Scottish Rite.
Edward Descomb Wells, 33°, P.G.M., wrote a beautiful piece entitled ”Freemasonry is Philosophy Teaching by Symbols” about our building, click here to read it in it's entirety.