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Freemasonry Watch

Upstate NY Masons lower selling price of Watertown Temple from $499k to $299k

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Watertown Daily Times

Piece of Masonic Hall cornice crashes to ground



Bricks, Masonic Temple on Washington Street JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES

Bricks are scattered on the ground after falling Monday off the Masonic Temple on Washington Street

The city's codes officer has asked local Masons to assess the structural stability of their Washington Street temple after a 1-foot-long piece of cornice dislodged from the south side of the structure Monday and shattered on the ground below.

Shawn R. McWayne said he could not tell during a street-level examination Tuesday whether other pieces were coming loose. The code enforcement officer wrote a letter to the fraternal organization asking it to "see what they can do to secure the site" again.

This is the third time in three years that a piece of the exterior has become loose on the 93-year-old building. A football-size concrete chunk fell from an overhang in July 2006, although a later report by the Masonic Hall of Watertown declared the building structurally sound.

In January 2007, contractors wrapped one of the building's concrete columns in plastic to prevent loose concrete from falling to the sidewalk below.

Mr. McWayne said the Masons rewrapped one column about two weeks ago at his request, which was done to prevent moisture from further eroding the decorative concrete that hugs the temple's steel columns.

The Masons have been trying to sell their temple since November 2003 and have lowered the asking price from $499,000 to its current $299,900.

Realtor Lori J. Gevera declined to say Tuesday how many people have expressed interest in the 32,000-square-foot building in the past six months.

William Glasper, acting master of the organization, did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

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