The City of Chicago ordered the emergency demolition of the long vacant South Side Masonic Temple at 64th and Green Street in Englewood due to its severely deteriorated condition and a partial roof collapse. Despite many years of advocacy for this orange-rated building, the challenges presented by its deteriorated condition and the market challenges in the Englewood community proved insurmountable. Advocacy efforts were unsuccessful to convince the nearby Kennedy-King College Campus or the new Whole Foods grocery store at 63rd and Halsted to adopt this historic building. Additionally, efforts at attracting developers to take on the adaptive reuse of this magnificent building were unsuccessful.
Located at 6400 S. Green Street, the South Side Masonic Temple was built in 1921 and housed fraternal organizations through the 1950s. Three stories of Ionic columns dominated its façade, and it contained multiple ornate meeting halls and grand spaces with Art Deco, Egyptian Revival, Eastern and Moorish influences. The South Side Masonic Temple was designed by notable Chicago architect Clarence Hatzfeld who is better known for the park district buildings that he designed at Indian Boundary Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Revere Park, Independence Park, Gompers Park, Greenbrier Park and others.
During its heyday, the Classic Revival style Masonic Temple was located in proximity to one of Chicago’s most thriving and bustling neighborhood retail and entertainment districts at 63rd and Halsted, second only to State Street in the Loop.
Preserving South Side Architecture: Two buildings in Englewood and Bronzeville are named some of Preservation Chicago’s “Most Endangered Buildings” of 2015, Zach Taylor and Andrew Yang, South Side Weekly, 5/5/15