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The Masonic Temple

CIRCA 1950

Historic Marker number 118 is located at 533 Eaton Street between Simonton and Duval Streets.This Masonic Temple structure was built by the Dade Lodge #14 chapter of freemasons as their meeting hall and lodge. The first temple structure on this site dates back to the 1870s was a two and a half story wooden commercial building. Its choice of building material and architectural style were a good match with many of the buildings we see today in Key West's Historic District of 3,000 frame vernacular buildings. The ground floor was used for commercial businesses with the second floor reserved for Mason's meetings. In 1949, the Masons reached out to Miami architect Henry Hohauser to design a new lodge. Henry Hohauser is considered to be the guiding light of Miami Beach's Art Deco Architectural District. The Masons wanted a futuristic design that could grow as their need for space increased. Hohauser's design for the building was solidly based in a relatively new architectural style called Streamline Moderne. The architectural style first surfaced after the Great Depression and became increasingly popular after World War II. Streamline Moderne was a stark reaction to Victorian building ornamentation that was the predominant building style for decades. The new style embraced simple lines and aerodynamic curves.The lodge was built as a two-story structure that was constructed to support a third floor. A third floor was added at a later date and, like the original lodge, the first floor was used for commercial businesses. The second and third floors were used for fraternal meetings and made space for a large auditorium. This is the only Henry Hohauser designed building in Key West and, architecturally, is a one-of-a-kind building.In 2013, the Masonic Temple was purchased by the Studios of Key West and is used as a community arts center and museum.