I had the honor of touring Detroit's Masonic Temple today! The building is the largest Masonic Temple in the world! Building broke ground in 1920 and was completed in 1926. A feat with in itself that is impressive considering the extensive carving and innovation that George D. Mason (chief architect) brought upon himself just before the Great Depression. At one point in time the building had over 60,000 active Freemasons. The ghosts of this building (metaphorically speaking) range from Henry Ford to George Washington. Freemasons are not what T.V. and movies make them out to be. Their roots go far back as one can imagine and simply are misunderstood by most of society today. I can say that with great confidence because I am a Freemason.
The building is a reminder of how grand Detroit and it's architecture truly is. I'm proud that the city and Jack White have helped maintain the structure to nearly 95% to it's original form. The history here runs deep. For example, the trowel and apron George Washington used at The Capitol Building in D.C. were used here in 1926 to lay the cornerstone. There's 2 pools (unfinished) due to the Great Depression, an old radio station, tons of secret rooms, 3 venues you can be married in, 10 active Freemason Lodges, a Crystal Ballroom; that is probably the most beautiful room in a all of Detroit in my opinion. The three full size theatre's can seat over 2,500 patrons all of which contain hundreds of hours of skilled wood work that is hard to comprehend. The details of the building are what flourish through the walls and balconies from the 2nd basement to the top floor. One theatre is now one named after Jack White, after he paid off the back taxes on the building. White's mother used to work as an usher for years when the family moved to Detroit from Kansas City. Mr. White simply paid back a debt to the building that employed his mother and did not ask for his name to be added. The Freemason decided to name the theatre is his honor anyways.
I highly suggest taking the tour if your interested in history, Freemasons, hand carved artistry, etc. Buildings like this rarely exist anymore and will never be built again. Enjoy!