Originally: Masonic Temple Location: 201 N. Harbor Boulevard 1901: Semi-Classical
Constructed in 1901, this two-story building was the original Masonic Temple. The Masons used the second floor for meetings until the organization moved to its larger facility in 1919, at the northwest corner of Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue.
As an example of turn-of-the-century, semi-classical architecture, this building is distinct from others in the downtown area. The most notable architectural features from the original design are the series of east and south facing windows on the second story and a prominent cornice on the sides facing the public streets. The original building was constructed of brick, and the back third was built or rebuilt sometime after the initial construction. In the 1930s, a stucco finish was applied to the exterior, and in the process, the brick walls were heavily damaged. In 1968, the building façade was extensively altered; it remained that way until it was completely rehabilitated in 1991.
The reconstruction of the building after it was partially destroyed by fire in 1991, was not a faithful restoration of the original design. Notwithstanding a number of deliberate compromises in the reconstruction (for example, an exterior stucco finish was reapplied instead of exposing the original brickwork), the building’s basic form and key design features are retained.
The structure is now identified as the Parker Building, named for the family that has owned the property for the last 85 years.