St. John’s Masonic Temple at 26 Gatacre Street was built in 1913 by St. John’s Lodge No. 21, A.F. & A.M. after an earlier Lodge building burned down in a fire.
The St. John’s Masonic Temple was added to the Ladysmith Community Heritage Register in 2014.
Here is a map showing the location of 26 Gatacre Street:
Here is a Google Street View image of 26 Gatacre Street:
Description of Historic Place
The Ladysmith Masonic Hall is a brick, two-storey Edwardian style building located in Ladysmith’s commercial core. The historic place is confined to the building footprint.
Built in 1913, the St. John’s Lodge Masonic Temple is a very good example of an Edwardian commercial building. The building’s simple form, massing, and symmetrical façade symbolize the transition from the more elaborate styles of the Victorian period to the restrained elegance of the Edwardian era.
The St. John’s Lodge Masonic Temple is part of a grouping of largely intact historic buildings in Ladysmith’s commercial core.
Situated just off the main commercial thoroughfare, the building is a significant contributor to the heritage character of the area.
Still used for lodge meetings, the St. John’s Lodge Masonic Temple exemplifies the historic and continuing importance of fraternal organizations to the cultural, economic and social life of Ladysmith. The building occupies the same site as an earlier lodge that was moved from Wellington in 1901. The earlier Lodge building burned down in 1913.
The St. John’s Lodge Masonic Temple has been in continuous use as a commercial and community meeting space since its construction. Like many buildings of this era, the downstairs was designed as commercial space while the upper storey was used by organizations or as living quarters.
The character-defining elements of the St. John’s Masonic Temple include:
- – all of the elements of Edwardian era building as expressed in the overall restrained appearance, simple form and massing, symmetrical façade, flat roof, brick construction with decorative detailing at the cornice, cambered arches on upper storey windows, simple cornice with ornate end brackets and simple pilasters
- – all of the functional elements of an Edwardian era commercial building including the large windows at street level and inset front entry door
- – the large Masonic symbol on the front façade
- – the building’s location within a larger grouping of historic structures
- – the building’s continuous use as a meeting hall and retail space