An Art Deco Masonic Temple where the secret society once convened has reopened as a new mixed-use hub in Los Angeles.
Real estate giant CBRE is the first tenant to move into the 1929 building, taking over four-floors of the nine-storey building, which will also incorporate retail space and creative offices.
‘It’s almost 60 years since this space enjoyed having an environment where people enlivened it,’ said Tom Veje, executive vice president of construction for Caruso Affiliated, which bought the historic building in Glendale last spring.
Designed by architect Arthur G Lindley – who also worked on nearby landmark, Alex Theater in 1925 – the purpose-built lodge was in use by the Masons for several decades before becoming largely vacant for over half a century.
Lindley’s design included a ‘random’ patterning of windows on the building’s exterior, which ensured privacy from the street-level for Masonic events, but meant that the interior spaces – ceremonial halls and meeting rooms – were poorly lit and difficult to use for subsequent tenants.
Caruso Affiliated’s rapidfire 10-month adaptive reuse project included the installation of 18 new 20-ft windows across the building to allow for better flow of light, while original windows on the front facade have been restored. The ‘vaulted cathedral-trussed penthouse’ has been turned into a meeting space, kitted out with stadium seating.
Windowless ceremonial rooms have also been reconfigured as light-filled spaces.
‘The primarily ability to get it done that quickly was that the bones of the building were very strong’, said the company’s executive vice president of architecture David Williams.
The basement, ground and second floor are currently unoccupied but several proposals – including the opening of a restaurant – are being considered with an announcement from Caruso Affiliated pending.
Work turning the south side of the building along Brand Boulevard into curated retail space is ongoing, and is likely to benefit from its proximity to the Americana at Brand, an outdoor shopping mall that opened in 2008, which is also owned by Caruso Affiliated.