Research Team

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
     The front hall housed offices for the three owner bodies, equipment storage areas, coaching rooms, janitorial closet, restrooms, and a cloak room. The main auditorium could seat 300 people with an unobstructed view of the stage and the acoustics were designed so an audio system would not be needed. The dining room could hold about 200 people and up to 400 if the multipurpose room was used. The ceremonial robes were housed east of the dining room. The floors, except for the foyer, were carpeted with a uniform color carpet which was color keyed to furnishings, walls, and ceiling colors. The building still needed furniture, kitchen utensils, and various inside items. The names of people contributing $100 or more was placed on a plaque in the lobby and a person could have a miniature plaque placed on a chair in the main auditorium for $50. All contributions, whether they were items or money were accepted and that is how the new Masonic Center was furnished.
   Unfortunately, the MBA made one drastic error in 1970 when they did not start setting aside money for the improvements that were going to be needed as the building aged. Each of the owner bodies were assessed a monthly fee to operate the building. Topeka Lodge 17 and Orient Lodge 51 were assessed $500 each and the Scottish Rite Bodies was assessed $575 because they had the only full time staff and the thought pattern was they would use more utilities and their offices were larger than the other two Lodges so 15% was added to their assessment. As of 2011 Topeka Lodge 17 and Orient Lodge 51 are being assessed $1175 each and the Scottish Rite Bodies is being assessed $1360 which tells me the builders of this building were thoughtful and were conservative in their assessments over the years.