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Masonic Library, Museum, and Auditorium

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1953–1955; Hansen and Waggoner; William L. Perkins. 813 1st Ave. S.E.
  • Masonic Library, Museum, and Auditorium (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

In the hands of architects trained within the Beaux-Arts tradition, the classical mode continued with some vigor after World War II. The Masonic Library building is a good case in point. The architects carried on the late1930s WPA version of the classical tradition, but at the same time they abstracted it even further than had been the case in the 1920s and 1930s. The design of the Masonic Library is a series of boxes sheathed with white marble; the major emphasis is placed on the entrance pavilion. What greets the visitor is a windowless rectangular volume that projects out over the entrance. This volume is supported at each corner by “primitive” but sophisticated drum columns. Sculpture in low relief appears on the front face of this upper block, to the right near a block of lettering.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Masonic Library, Museum, and Auditorium", [Cedar Rapids, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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