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Masonic Travels: Pennsylvania, PA Lodge 2

posted May 20, 2013, 5:26 PM by Kurt Gazow
One of our North Bank Lodge Brothers recently traveled back home for the first time as a Mason and was able to visit the lodge in which his father was raised.  Here are a few of his notes from his travels:

By May 7, 2013 I had journeyed back to my birth place Phila, PA to accomplish a number of things, including attending my 50th High School reunion and to complete a Chapter in my Masonic evolution by sitting in the Lodge my father attend from 1948-1970.

PA Lodge 2 was foiunded in 1758…its original Constitution opened in the East was the incredible 250 year old document still legible attached to a light but hard case display. The building above is as detailed on the outside as inside having been built in the 1880’s.

The first thing that was necessary was to write the Secretary and mention my request to attend their May 7, 2013 stated meeting to Brother Secretary James Wakeley.

Having been guided by GPS I arrived about 6:15 and happened into the closets parking garage. It so happened to be “the” garage so I received a coupon to be offered it for free.

"When you entered the Temple, you came through the Grand Entrance Gate, from North Broad Street. If you don't know much about architecture, you can't help but learn when you visit the Masonic Temple. 

"The architectural style of the Grand Entrance Gate is Norman. The doors are each seventeen feet high, seven feet wide and six inches thick. Along the inner steps of the Temple are two large bronze sphinxes. I don't know if they have names, but they are very impressive..."

"Once you get past the sphinxes, you enter the Grand Foyer. It runs the full length of the building from the entrance gate to the huge bronze doors of the Benjamin Franklin Room. It is decorated with Doric columns, the oldest, strongest and simplest of the Orders of Grecian architecture.

"Oil portraits of some of the Right Worshipful Past Grand Masters are hung on these walls.

"The Grand Staircase leads to the second floor at the north end of the building. It also leads to Corinthian Hall, the meeting room of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. 

"The stairway is made of Tennessee marble. Look up under the staircase. Here you see the Seal of the Grand Lodge, the Great Seal of Pennsylvania and representation of the four cardinal virtues -- Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice

Past the Banquet Room...

Oriental Hall…no, this wasn’t it…

Gothic Hall… this wasn’t it…

Ionic Hall…this still wasn’t it…

Egyptian Hall…finally…   

I introduce myself outside the room and curiosity overcame the Brethren…no real “test” as it appeared I had the mannerism of a Brother besides my Scottish rite pin and Lewis Jewel. Admittedly when I entered with my Apron the Secretary noticed and said to the others I was vouched for and proceeded to be offered introductions.  WM Dave Long offered a warm welcome.

The lodge meeting culminated in delivering the Charge:

The experience is far greater than I can share and is worthy of all Free Masons everywhere to visit this renowned edifice and monument to history.

Oh, one last thing…imagine being a worker 130 years ago and being asked to put YOUR thumbprint into one of these little “trim” foil circles!

The headquarters of the Grand Lodge is in the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street, directly across from Philadelphia City Hall. The current Grand Master is Jay W. Smith.

Go to this site and view the additional features of this amazing Masonic building!