On May 15, 2019 the public is invited to tour the Masonic Temple building at 145 W. Cortland St. in downtown Jackson, Michigan.
The building was built in 1907 and was designed by Claire Allen for the Jackson Mason Lodge #17 who occupied the building until 1988. It then became home of Vermeulen Furniture and much of its turn-of-the-century features were covered up to become a furniture store. These features were later rediscovered when the City of Jackson took over the building in 2017 and became partners with the Jackson School of the Arts. Together the City and Jackson School of the Arts are restoring and reviving this magnificent building. The City is wrapping up exterior structural work and the Jackson School of the Arts is in the midst of a $3 million capital campaign for interior renovations and build
out including an elevator.
Executive Director Kim Curtis said, “We’ve run out of space but not out of inspiration which is why we are raising money to relocate our thriving organization to the Masonic Temple. Grounded in our mission, the relocation gives Jackson School of the Arts the capacity to build upon its role as a leader in providing arts education and to provide more opportunities for the community to engage in and interact with the arts and culture. A downtown center for the arts will further drive community engagement and support the economic development of the downtown.”
During the open house from 5:30-7:00 PM, the public can tour the building and see architectural designs for the new downtown arts center. The doors open earlier at 5:00 PM to welcome Masons from around the State.