Scottish Rite Masonic Temple Building

Scottish Rite Masonic Temple

Scottish Rite Masonic Temple

Address: 3200 St Bernard Avenue

Owner: Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree Freemasons (Scottish Rite)

Assessed Property Value: $210,300

Unoccupied since: August 2005

Damage Assessment: Unavailable

Status: No code enforcement issues at this time

According to the initial bill of sale, the plot of land between St Bernard Avenue on its north side, Florida St. to its west, Frey St. to its east and a US. Post office parking lot to its south was first surveyed and purchased in 1953 as part of the Grillot subdivision.  However, it wasn’t until a 1962 sale by the New Orleans Housing Mart (who had purchased the property in 1958) that the municipal number 3200 St. Bernard Avenue was included in any legal documents, implying that some version of the massive pink building still on the lot was constructed around that time.  After the 1962 sale, the property changed hands three more times. In 1963, it was acquired by Leon S. Poirier who, in 1967, sold it to the Young Women’s Christian Association.  In 1973, it was purchased by the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree Freemasons, who still own it today.

Arthur Morrell's Old Office

Arthur Morrell's Old Office

The building is four stories tall, and comprised of a series of smaller suites and offices. One of these was the local legislative office of Arthur Morrell, when he was the state representative of District 97.  His name is still visible, along with numerous other tenants, on the doors of the first floor suites.

While no damage report exists with the city (which is not uncommon, even for buildings that were damaged by Katrina) according to the local Mason chapter representative, the building was severely damaged during the storm.  It has since been boarded up and gutted, and some new studs are visible through the windows on the first floor.  When I called the local chapter, I was given a number for the person allegedly in charge of the renovations.  The number did not work.  According to the city’s fast track permitting database, the only permit successfully pulled was for a temporary power pole in 2007.  The pole is still there, though after multiple visits to the site, there are no signs of current renovation, and no other permits have been pulled.

However, the small wooden annex on the second floor has working lights, and there are folding chairs lined up in some of the rooms, signs that the building, though still unrenovated, is being used.  Despite this, after calling the local chapter of the Scottish Rite, another local Mason chapter and the national office of the Scottish Rite, I still have not been able to confirm that any of these groups owns the building.

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