Chattanooga Masonic Center Holds Groundbreaking For $2-Million Home On Friday

Friday, July 14, 2017

Chattanooga Masonic Center held a groundbreaking of its two-million dollar Masonic Home on Friday, at 10 a.m. at 551 West 21st Street.

The groundbreaking for the new Chattanooga Masonic Center represents 118 years of Chattanooga Masonic history. It will be the third home for the Chattanooga Masonic Temple during that span.

Chattanooga Masonic Temple, Inc. – a not-for-profit real estate holding company – was chartered in 1899. Its original members were Chattanooga Lodge No. 199 F.&A.M. and Temple Lodge No. 430, F.&A.M. It was chartered to promote Freemasonry and to erect and maintain a building for Masonic purposes in Chattanooga.

These two lodges already had a long-established history in Chattanooga – Chattanooga Lodge being chartered in 1850 and Temple Lodge in 1872.

Its first home was at 7th and Cherry Streets in what was formerly the Mountain City Club. In 1917, the membership in the Chattanooga Masonic Temple was granted to two other Masonic Bodies – Hamilton Chapter No. 49  Royal Arch Masons and Lookout Commandery No. 14 Knights Templar.

In 1959, the Chattanooga Masonic Temple moved into its second home, the former Jo Conn Guild Mansion at 950 Vine Street, Fortwood. This remained its home until sold to the Chabad Jewish Center of Chattanooga in 2015.

The new Chattanooga Masonic Center will be at 551 West 21st Street directly across from Finley Stadium. In addition to hosting Masonic events, it will have an approximately 200 person capacity rental space for other special events, as well as an outdoor patio area.

The Corporation is governed by a board, with each constituent body providing two board members for a total of eight. Current board members are Steve Reno – president, Wilson Von Kessler – vice-president, Terry Plemons - treasurer, David Olds- secretary Jim Carroll, Richard Petty, Paul Smith, and Tag Thompson.

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