In 1992 the Grand Lodge moved from its headquarters at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple to its current location in East Providence, RI.
In an agreement with Rising Sun Lodge No. 30 the Grand Lodge agreed to take over ownership of their lodge building. Rising Sun Lodge would then continue to occupy the building rent free as a tenant for as long as they maintained their charter. This proved to be an ideal arrangement as upkeep of so large a building was proving to be beyond their means.
In the year leading up to the move, a major renovation of the building both inside and out was undertaken. In excess of $900,000 was spent converting the building to the new Grand Lodge headquarters.
Since 1992 improvements to the building have taken place; new carpeting installed, replacement windows, air conditioning, and numerous other small projects, but no major structural improvements. Although the building remained in good condition, several issues arose during the last several years that required attention. The walls and roof began to leak in several locations, certain large sections of the external brickwork required repointing, the glass block windows in the lower-level dining area, at the front and back of the building, suffered some vandalism and began leaking and needed to be replaced. The portico and stairs at the front of building had structural issues and caused ongoing water damage to the lower-level restrooms. The massive portico front doors were in very-poor condition and needed replacement. The front office entrance replacement proved to be the biggest part of the project, as much of the cement landing and stairs were cracked and the railings were all in violation of current building codes.
All these issues needed to be addressed in a timely manner.
Starting in 2019 the building committee in conjunction with the Grand Council sent out bids to address these issues. After over a year of consulting architects and contractors, contracts were created. It was determined that the project would cost in excess of $400,000!
Work began in the spring of 2020 with an estimated completion date in late fall. Unfortunately, the pandemic outbreak delayed continued work on the project. As of this issue of the RI Freemason, work is now nearly complete with just a few minor details to be completed.
Special thanks are extended to the Building Committee and its Chairman, W∴Andrew Sholes, Grand Masters M∴W∴Kenneth Poyton and M∴W∴Gary Kaufman, and the Grand Council for seeing this project to completion.
By: R∴W∴Ronald P. Reed, Grand Secretary
R∴W∴Richard Lynch, Curator/Librarian