|Masonic Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
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650 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah
Ground Breaking: July 28, 1926
Cornerstone Laid: November 5, 1926
Dedicated: November 20, 1927
Egyptian structures were many times built in honor of the Egyptian God Horus, described as the God of Light or Life and usually depicted as a double-headed, feathered serpent and solar disc. This device can be found on the cornice of the building with the square and compasses superimposed on the solar disc. This emblem is also used on the gates of the funeral exit on the west side of the Temple. Normally, the gates are closed and the Symbol of Life is intact, but to open the gates for a Mason's funeral procession, the symbol is separated and signifies a break in the life span of a Master Mason. On the lintel above this gateway is carved the Egyptian Scarab, and ancient device signifying the resurrection of immortality.
Even finished courses of ashlars of Utah granite form the Temple's base and stairways. They are rectangular stones and contrast with the cornerstone which is, as it should be, a cubical stone. This stone is located in the northeast corner of the Temple and has one exposed face of rough ashlar and the other of finished ashlar, upon which is the proper Masonic inscription. Within the cornerstone, a sealed copper receptacle contains mementos of then current Masonic interest.
The walls of the Temple are of brick, laid block fashion in imitation of stone masonry. It is interesting to note that the clay for these bricks was from a then new deposit and only samples had been made prior to our use. The brick is now frequently used elsewhere, and still referred to as Masonic Temple brick.
Entrance to the Temple is gained by ascending a flight of three, five, seven, and nine steps. Flanking the main entrance is a pair of sphinx, guarding the entrance to the Temple. Between their paws are granite spheres, polished and inscribed to represent the Celestial sphere and the Terrestrial sphere. The head of each sphinx is in position to contemplate the sphere lying between his paws, symbolizing the inspection of the earth and the heavens. The sphinxes and the spheres were carved locally. The granite for the sphinxes was quarried in Little Cottonwood Canyon; the spheres are Eastern onyx.
The Temple proper is three stories high, starting at the first floor, and rests on the base or ground story. These three stories are significant of the three degrees of Masonry, and contain all the tiled or ritualistic rooms, as well as the auditorium. The ground floor has nonritualistic rooms for administration, offices, banquet room, library, etc. North of the main Lobby is a stairway and ramp system that serves all floors of the building. The ramps are often used for funerals and exit the building to the west.
Copyright 2000 - 2005 Burlingame Lodge #400 F&AM