Ever wanted to own a Scottish Rite building? Now is your chance. Sotheby’s is selling off this grand structure starting at $6.9 million.
I had the opportunity to tour and photograph this building a number of years ago, not long after I became a Mason. It is beautiful inside and out and its design is based on the Alahambra in Spain.
This saddens me a little, seeing another of our majestic landmarks going by the wayside. It is a sign of change, and although this type of change is not always a negative thing, it quite often is not positive. A shrinking of membership leads to this sort of thing, obviously, but so does the rising cost of upkeep on an old structure.
I do not know the story here — why the structure is being auctioned off — but even if the Scottish Rite bodies are growing and the organization is bringing in more money, I can imagine that a building of this age and size (44,000 square feet and lots of high ceilings) has got to be incredibly expensive to run and maintain.
In fact, judging from their website, the Santa Fe Valley is alive and well. They even held a reunion in early May and had plans to confer (as opposed to communicate) 20 of the 29 degrees. That takes a lot of planning and coordination among many people. I could not find any mention on the site about the building’s sale or where they plan to meet after this process is done.
Hopefully the building will not be as garish as the Toronto lodge building that was turned into an MTV office. You never know, but it would be a shame to see the building lose its beauty like that.