In late 2017, local developer, Brian Hayden of BrandonView LLC, acquired the hulking Masonic Temple building near the intersection of Spring and Lindell for $6 Million. As time went on, no plans were made public for the building and Bryan remained quiet on his plans. Now, as Gallery 512 (The Old Mercantile Library in Downtown) nears completion, Hayden is turning his attention to the Masonic Temple.
No exact numbers were given in regards to the amount of units proposed for the 14-story, 386,000SF building but a parking garage is also planned. The two largest challenges with the building are 1. sheer size and 2. the lack of windows. How these will be dealt with has become clearer since the Preservation Board’s full agenda was posted on the City website.
First, parking will be built inside of the existing structure, but on what floors remains unclear. Then, new windows and recessed balconies will be cut into the building to make the units livable. You can see the new balconies in the renderings above and below. You can barely tell that they are there and that is key to the design. It keeps symmetry will the existing windows and rows of windows. Finally, the existing ceremony spaces appear to remain, especially the large hall in the upper tier.
Residents and visitors will enter the Masonic Temple Apartments through a new entrance along the Lindell-Olive Alley. That entrance will have to be cut into the building. The exit will also be along the alley. The northern facade will be the side that sees the most radical change in appearance. Right now, it’s mostly blank on the lowest tier, but plans call for more windows and balconies to be cut to make this size viable. As said above, these balconies and windows will keep with the symmetry of the existing windows.
No timeline or cost projects were given in the Preservation Board document. The Preservation Board has recommended preliminary approval of the project. They will review the project at their Monday, May 20th meeting.
The Masonic Temple was completed in 1929 and is one of the last nearly abandoned buildings in Midtown.