Masonic Building: History & Rescue

The Masonic Building is a landmark historic building located at the key intersection of Bank Square in the heart of Eastport, Muselenk (Moose Island) Maine’s small downtown. The three-story brick structure was built in 1887 and was designed by Boston and Saint John, New Brunswick architect Henry N. Black. Originally built as the meeting hall for the local Masonic fraternal organization (Eastern Lodge #7) using New Brunswick made brick and Nova Scotia sandstone, the Masonic Lodge occupied the upper second and third floors of the building while Mildon’s variety department style store occupied the first floor. The building’s rear warehouse addition was built in the early 1930s to serve the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea (A&P) Company that had then come to occupy the ground floor of the main Masonic Building. The A&P Company moved out of the building and to a new downtown location in the late 1960s. The Masonic Lodge sold and left the building in 1982. For the next 35 plus years, a restaurant occupied the first floor of the building and the upper floors and rear warehouse contained art related activities (community theater, art galleries, artist studios). 

In the spring of 2019, the front of the Masonic Building was on the verge of outright collapse due to a severely compromised 50 foot wooden structural beam between the first and second floors. Fortunately, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art (TIMA) was able to purchase the building at this time and immediately replace the wooden structural beam with a steel beam. The ground level storefronts, which also were severely compromised, have also now been completely rebuilt as has half of the deteriorated ground level floor. 

Front of Masonic Building shortly after it was built in 1887.
Installation of cribbing in front of Masonic Building prior to structural beam replacement in 2019. 
Front of Masonic Building, August, 2021 after structural beam had been replaced and first floor storefronts had been rebuilt. 
Interior view of grand second floor Masonic hall prior to the rebuilding and repair of the upper front wall. The electric ceiling lights are original to the building and date to 1904. 
One of two special farm to table dinners held on the first floor of the Masonic Building, Friday, August 6, 2021.
Scaffolded front of Masonic Building while rebuilding and restoration of upper front wall takes place, November, 2021. 
Rebuilt interior of upper front wall of Masonic Building, August, 2022. 

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