‘The Ashlar’ transforms Masonic building into upscale venue


A major renovation project at the Masonic Temple will have more than a few heads turning when the facility opens for public and private use later this summer. The rental hall boasts wood laminate flooring, stone tiled walls, decorative ceiling tiles and two sets of double doors that open to a deck large enough to accommodate 300 people. Taking advantage of its location on the River Raisin, the new windows and deck offer stunning views of the water. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

After 37 years, the Masonic Temple at 700 Bishop Reed Drive is renovating its hall and naming it “The Ashlar.” The Masonic Temple was originally constructed with a gift from the Herrick Foundation and has served as the Masonic lodge for the Masons of Tecumseh, Lodge 69, for over three decades. The Ashlar will serve as an entertainment space and event center for weddings, business meetings, parties, proms, reunions, graduations, and events.

David Denham, temple manager for the Masons of Tecumseh, said the update on the building was sorely needed. “We’ve always been a rental hall, but we looked at other venues and realized we were a little behind the times,” Denham said. “We started planning updates in November and December of last year, and then we began renovations on the first of January.”

Renovations on the building include wall coverings, new floorings, an update to the women’s bathroom, and two sets of glass double doors leading out to a large deck overlooking Red Mill Pond.

The facility can hold up to 300 guests, and the deck can be rented as well. Freemason Kimble Wright of Wright Builders came up with the idea of putting stone on the walls, and helped with the remodel. The deck is soon to be completed.

The name for The Ashlar came about in honor of its Masonic heritage. In Mason tradition, Freemasons that are yet to be initiated are referred to as “Rough Ashlars.” These are known as stones that are undressed and unfit for construction. Whereas a “Perfect Ashlar” is in reference to a Freemason who has achieved enlightenment through Mason education, and has become a perfect stone dressed and smoothed by a stonemason, ready to be used to construct a strong and sturdy building.

Masonic meetings will continue to take place on the other side of the building. Denham said one of the reasons the Masons decided to update the hall was because many locals in Tecumseh had no idea the building existed. “So many people in town didn’t even know we were there. We got together and said, ‘Hey, we gotta make a change in order to make this work for us,’” Denham said. “So we have a website now, and are on Facebook. It’s all new.”

For more information or to reserve The Ashlar, call 423.3120, visit www.the-ashlar.com, or email contact@the-ashlar.com.


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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