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Albany Masonic Hall

Author

City of Albany

Place Number

00023
There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.

Location

58-60 Spencer St Albany

Location Details

Cnr Earl St

Other Name(s)

Old Masonic Hall
Plantagenet Lodge No 1454

Local Government

Albany

Region

Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1903

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Permanent 26 Aug 2008 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place

Heritage Council
Classified by the National Trust Recorded 04 Apr 1977

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category B

Category B

• Requires a high level of protection. • Provide maximum encouragement to the owner under the City of Albany Town Planning Scheme to conserve the significance of the place. • A more detailed Heritage Assessment/Impact Statement to be undertaken before approval given for any major redevelopment. • Incentives to promote heritage conservation should be considered.

Statement of Significance

The Freemasons Hall in Spencer St has aesthetic, historic, representative and social cultural heritage
significance.
Aesthetic Significance:
The hall is a prominent building of the Federation era. Built in 1903 the hall, despite some changes to its façade, has a number of notable features from this period such as the arched windows and adornment that is not common in community buildings in rural towns. The size and elevated position of the hall contributes to the streetscape of Spencer St. The hall is one of a number of notable heritage places in Spencer St.
Historic Significance:
Since 1873 the Masonic Lodge of Albany has had a building on this site. A number of prominent community people have had associations with the Lodge.
Representative:
The Freemasons Hall is a good representative of the solidly constructed community buildings of the Federation era.

Physical Description

Elevated corner position
Very high streetscape value
Elements of simple Federation Warehouse style
Gable roof with Freemasons Emblem in gable
Arched windows on façade
Arched windows framed by two rectangular windows on the side of the building
Rectangularity of building
Two storey brick building
Emphasised piers with decorative top motifs

History

This Freemasons Hall was built on the site of the original Masonic Lodge which, had been erected in 1873.
The Albany Lodge, the Lodge of St John, was the first Masonic Lodge to erect a hall in Western Australia. It is also the only one still under the English Constitution. The land was bought in Spencer St in 1872 for the sum of £30, the hall was built the following year.
The first Masonic Hall was a tall narrow building of two storeys facing on to Earl St with a door and two sash windows on the ground floor and three windows above. The first meeting was held on 27 December 1873.
The building was demolished in 1903. (There may be a photograph of the original hall available in the Albany Local Studies Collection according to a footnote on an old written history of the Freemason's Hall).
The foundation stone for the current hall, and a time capsule was laid by J McKenzie. At the ceremony,
which was reported in an extensive article in the Albany Advertiser, Brother McKenzie gave this speech;
The honour you have done me in asking me to lay the foundation stone of the new hall carries my memory back to the year 1873 when a meeting of brethern was held in my house for the purpose of forming a Masonic Lodge in Albany. At that
meeting it was decided to ask the Grand Lodge of England for a warrant or charter to open a lodge to be the Plantagenet, and the names of the following foundation members were at the same time submitted as officers, namely; W F inlay, J
Campbell, W Gillam, GT Butcher, AY Hassell, Dr Cecil Rogers and J McKenzie.
The charter arrived in December of the same year. Several meetings were held in the Freemasons' Hotel where by-laws etc, were framed, but no decrees were
conferred until 1874, when the hall which has just been demolished was completed,
the contractor being the late JU Green.
Upwards of £250 was advanced, free of interest, by several of the brethren, the
remainder being raised by mortgage. The first ballot taken in the newly formed
lodge resulted in the following being elected members; GH Broomhall, HB
Broomhall, Rev. WW Johnson, A Muir, H Prior, HJ Tounsend, AW Hassell, C
McKenzie, A Cameron and R Tunney. These gentlemen were subsequently duly
initiated.
Notwithstanding the difficulties encountered in the early days of the Plantagenet
Lodge, it has prospered and today (1903) extra accommodation is required for the proper working of the several degrees hence the reason for the present gathering.
Wor. Master and brethren it is almost needless for me to say anything in favour of our institution, whose charity has brightened the homes of thousands, and may the Great Architect of the Universe bless and prosper our present undertaking. Having full confidence in your skill in our Royal Art, it only remains for me to finish this our work, and now I declare this stone to be well and truly laid.
The building was consecrated on 15th October 1903 by Bishop Riley of Perth. Riley was the Provincial Grand Master, Grand Lodge of WA and a Past Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge in England. FR Dymes furnished the second floor during his term as Master in 1912.
The date of the large foyer addition is, at this time unknown though thought to have occurred in 1963. The addition has changed the balance of the hall's original design. The cast iron from the original front wall was sold as scrap metal.
Suggested further research - oral history from current older members and written records (other than brief history which was prepared in 1965).

Integrity/Authenticity

Integrity: Moderate
Modifications: Entrance foyer addition unsympathetic to original entry statement
Removal of strong brick wall with cast iron finishes (See old photo)

Condition

Good

Associations

Name Type Year From Year To
G Johnson Architect 1903 -

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
L Johnson; "Town of Albany Heritage Survey". City of Albany 1994
Survey of Local Buildings. Albany Historical Society 1965
Albany Advertiser; "New Masonic Hall". 4/7/1903

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
5442 Historical record of Freemasons Hall at cnr Spencer Street and Earl Street Albany WA. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2000
8349 Albany Masonic Hall : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2004

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

Epoch General Specific
Original Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Masonic Hall
Present Use SOCIAL\RECREATIONAL Masonic Hall

Architectural Styles

Style
Federation Academic Classical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Institutions
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Cultural activities
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Religion

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.