Masonic Temple, Danville 5
Image by Universal Pops
The Masonic Temple (1921) in Danville is located at 105 S. Union Street in the Danville Historic District [Virginia Department of Historic Resources ID 108-0111-065]. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Danville prospered for many years as a tobacco and textile center.
The building designed by West Virginia architect Fred F. Farris, cost 0,000 to build in 1921. It is fire-proof and was Danville’s first skyscraper; the styling is eclectic. It has two 10-story blocks of concrete and steel with a face of glazed, white architectural terra-cotta. The basic shape is in the form of a “U”. At the center of the “U” is a Tudor arched screen, a sculpted eagle crowning the entrance. Gothic ornamentation decorates the metal awning below the arch. Elaborate relief work follows the curved of the arch and is continued on both sides of the lobby entrance. The lobby ceiling had been dropped, hiding a barrel-vaulted skylight; but it will eventually be restored to its former state. Some nice relief work is above the doors to the elevators, the original ones installed at the time of construction.
At the base of the building are bays with Tudor arches containing various shops. A reason the building is so tall was to accommodate offices for various professionals—insurance companies, utilities, lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc. The styling of most floors is utilitarian, windows being 3 over 3; on the 9th floor the windows are taller and 6 over 6. Windows on the 10th level have Tudor arches between ornamented capitals
I was unable to tour the interior, which apparently has some spectacular rooms. I was fortunate enough to meet a member of the owner’s family, who provided some details on the structure. I was in Danville around 9 in the morning when these photos were taken; the lighting was not the best, but I wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass.
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