Paul R. Oldham
Donald A. Mahrle
Kelly D. Kraemer
Design - Kelly D. Kraemer, 32º KCCH
Copyright © 2014 Topeka Scottish Rite Bodies
Webmaster - Paul R. Oldham, 33º
30th St. & MacVicar St.
Occupied 1970 - Present
We complete our building history with our current Masonic Center located at 30th & MacVicar Sts. Most will agree it was an ambitous design for a Masonic building and it has served its owner bodies well for the past forty one years. Renovations were started in 2008 and completed in 2009 with the help of many hard working volunteers.
The Temple at 10th and Van Buren was sold to the Urban Renewal Agency of Topeka on October 1, 1968 for $499,500 by the Masonic Building Association, Inc. with the stipulation that the MBA would rent the building until possession could be transferred on December 30, 1969. This closed a chapter for the Masonic Bodies which had lasted off and on from November 17, 1919 when the digging began on the Temple at 10th and Van Buren Streets.
The Executive Committee, which included the Masters of the four Lodges of the Scottish Rite Bodies, opened a new chapter by choosing to raise the dues to the Scottish Rite Members to $10 per year. The dues had been $6 per year for 45 years from 1924 to 1969.
This was also a dividing point in the five Masonic Bodies. Topeka Lodge 17, Orient Lodge 51, and the Scottish Rite Bodies decided to build a new Temple at 30th and Mac Vicar Avenue. Siloam Lodge 225 and the York Rite chose to take their portion of the sale of the Temple at 10th and Van Buren Streets and build a new Temple at 14th and Van Buren Streets.
A new era at 30th and Mac Vicar Avenue was started with three Masonic Bodies coming together to finance, build, and manage a beautiful new Masonic Center. The land for the 30th and Mac Vicar Avenue Masonic Center was acquired from Henry Bubb of Capitol Federal, who had foreclosed on the Sunnymeade farm and included the old dairy barn as well as land to Wayne Street that was sold to the person who built a number of apartments to the west of the Masonic Center. Work began on the 30th and Mac Vicar Avenue building with the laying of the cornerstone on February 28, 1970 with a projected cost of $350,000. The dedication was on Friday, January 22, 1971 with about 400 persons attending. The property and building were to be managed by the MBA which consisted of 3 representatives from Topeka Lodge 17, Orient Lodge 51, and the Scottish Rite Bodies. A quorum of 5 members of the 9 allowed business to be conducted. Originally, the building was to have two floors with an elevator and three lodge rooms on the main floor and the dining room and storage on the lower level. When Siloam Lodge 225 and the York Rite left the group the plans were changed to only have one floor. Money was an issue as well because the MBA wanted to be debt free and not have a mortgage when they moved into the new building so one of the three air conditioners was also eliminated in the building phase. This building was our first place to have air conditioning. Many changes were made on the blueprints, but finally the building was completed and the MBA was proud of the fact they moved in free of debt.