311 Ann Street, Brisbane
SATURDAY ONLY // 10am to 3pm
Lange R Powell: Original building // Atkinson, Powell and Conrad: Refurbishment
1928-30: Original building // 1985: Refurbishment
Image credit (above): David Anderson
Built as a monument to Freemasonry in Queensland and as a World War One memorial, the building is an exceptional example of an Australian Masonic Temple. Its interiors, particularly the Grand Hall and the Urn of Remembrance, are renowned for their grandeur. It is substantially intact both externally and internally and is held in high regard by the Masonic community.
In April 1921, the United Grand Lodge of Queensland was formed through the union of the 281 Freemasons’ lodges in Queensland. To commemorate the union, the Grand Lodge staged a competition to produce a design for a centrally located temple. Lange Powell’s design, himself a Freemason, was chosen from the 16 entries submitted.
The design provided a four-storey building with a basement for the caretaker and storerooms. The ground floor held the executive offices of the Grand Lodge of Queensland, a library and a museum. In the centre of the large circular vestibule was the Urn of Remembrance to Brethren who died in World War I.
The first floor comprised lodge rooms and the second held the supper rooms. The Grand Lodge Room on the top floor seated 1100 people and was described in the Architecture and Building Journal in February 1928 as the ‘largest and finest of its kind in Australia’.
On 25 April 1928, Most Worshipful Brother Justice Charles Stumm laid the foundation stone. A capsule was placed under the stone which contained copies of the four metropolitan newspapers of the prior day, duplicates of cheques contributed by Lodges and Brethren, a copy of the Grand Master’s speech and coins.
Built in the Classical Revival style, the façade features six fluted giant order Corinthian columns supporting a rich entablature and pediment constructed of Yangan sandstone on a grey granite base. Between the two central columns are lead-light, steel-framed windows and the heavily studded bronze main entry door at the base of the building. In the bays between columns to either side of the entry are two bronze flagstaffs.
Image credits (below): Masonic Symbol - Stephen Marcon // Ceiling - SZK Photography
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Limited wheelchair access. Smart casual dress code.