New Westminster Masonic Hall
508 Agnes Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L, Canada
New Westminster Masonic Hall
Links and documents
1911/01/01 to 1912/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The New Westminster Masonic Hall is a two-storey plus lower level symmetrical brick building with Classical Revival elements, located on a slope creating a full-basement on the rear. It is located facing Agnes Street between Sixth and Fourth Streets near New Westminster's historic downtown core.
The New Westminster Masonic Hall is significant for its contribution to the consistent and distinctive built form of downtown New Westminster, which dates from between 1898 and 1913, when the city was the major centre of commerce and industrial output for the booming Fraser Valley area. The Hall is an excellent example of the influence of the Classical Revival that became popular during the Edwardian era. Overt classical references are prominent in this highly decorative structure. The elaborate entry features double doors with transom window above, an entablature with the words 'Freemason's Hall' and a pediment with the Masonic symbol over the entrance.
The New Westminster Masonic Hall was designed by architects Gardiner and Mercer, one of the more enduring and prolific architectural partnerships in the province (1911-1940). The firm was a partnership of Francis George Gardiner (1878-1966) and Andrew Lamb Mercer (1878-1959). They designed many of the buildings along Columbia Street during the pre-First World War boom in New Westminster, including the Trapp Block and the Westminster Trust Building.
The New Westminster Masonic Hall is valued for its association with the Masonic order, which is the world's oldest and largest fraternal organization. The first Masonic Lodge on the British Columbia mainland, the Union Lodge #1201, had been established in New Westminster in 1860. In 1912, the Lodge moved here from their former Lodge at Lorne and Columbia Streets where they had been located since 1887. The Freemasons have used this building continuously since that time.
Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster
Key elements that define the heritage character of the New Westminster Masonic Hall include its:
- mid-block location, part of a grouping of late Victorian and Edwardian era commercial buildings in historic downtown New Westminster
- front facade built to the property line
- symmetrical form, two-storey plus lower level height, sunken lightwells at front, flat roof with raised parapets, and cubic massing
- Classical Revival elements of the front facade, including: overall symmetry; entrance porch with Doric columns and entablature with pediment; dentil courses; continuous sills forming stringcourses; quoining around doors and windows; and pediments over first floor windows
- Masonic symbol in front pediment
- masonry construction, including red pressed brick cladding with stone trim on front facade
- regular fenestration, with double-hung 1-over-1 wooden-sash windows with horns
- polished granite cornerstone, inscribed with 'Laid by the Grand A.F. and A.M. Oct. 6, 1911'
- interior features, including: original room layouts and configuration; lath-and-plaster walls; wooden floors, door and window trim; wooden staircase; and other details that date to the original construction including plumbing and lighting fixtures
- stone wall at front with wrought iron fence
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Architect / Designer
Gardiner and Mercer
Snider and Brethor
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Planning Files, City of New Westminster
Cross-Reference to Collection