Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the internet's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.
Built in 1922, the historic Detroit Masonic Temple is the largest of its kind in the world, and quite possibly the spookiest. Behind its Gothic limestone exterior, the labyrinthine 16-floor building contains 1,037 rooms, including three theaters, a 4,000-seat auditorium, several ballrooms, and, as tours of the rarely seen parts of the complex
reveal, an unfinished swimming pool, a secret floor, and numerous hidden passageways. Even more haunting: George D. Mason, the architect who designed and financed the structure, allegedly jumped from the building's roof amid struggles of bankruptcy and a failed marriage.
These old photos from the Library of Congress show a few of the many lodge rooms where meetings would be held. They all feature a masonic altar in the center, but look closely and you'll see that each room had a different decorative style, In fact, the building's many rooms were outfitted in motifs that ranged from Egyptian and Corinthian to Byzantine and Gothic, and many more. After escaping foreclosure in April 2013, the landmark still serves as an event venue—though Curbed Detroit reports a few renovation prospects (they also have a whole bunch of photos from a recent tour inside the building).
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· Masonic Temple, Detroit [Library of Congress]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]