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Houghton City Centre (Houghton Masonic Temple Building)

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Houghton Masonic Temple Building
c. 1905, Charles W. Maass and Fred A. H. Maass. 616–618 Shelden Ave.
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

The four-story former Masonic Temple building is steel skeleton construction with an exterior skin that combines the textures of coursed rusticated red sandstone with smooth-cut red sandstone pilasters. The pediment of the central entrance is supported by consoles. Its tympanum contains a cartouche with the compass and square, symbolizing the great architect of the universe. Other Freemason imagery appears in the entablature between elaborate brackets that support the dramatically projecting cornice. The Masonic apartments occupied the entire third and fourth floors and are richly ornamented with mahogany and classical detailing. The building was designed by the Maass brothers, Charles (1871–1959) and Fred A. H. (1888–1959) of Houghton County and Menominee, and constructed by Herman Gundlach, also of Houghton. Stores and offices on the first and second floors provided rental income to support Masonic activities above. In 1989 the City of Houghton moved its offices here.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Houghton City Centre (Houghton Masonic Temple Building)", [Houghton, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 473-474.

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