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Masonic Block

317 Broadway Street, Nakusp, British Columbia, V0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/23

317 Broadway Street, Nakusp; Village of Nakusp
Oblique, 2009
317 Broadway Street, Nakusp; Village of Nakusp
Oblique, 1922
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Other Name(s)

Masonic Block
Treasure Trove

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/01/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Masonic Block is a large two-storey wood frame building that spans an entire commercial block located on the north side of Broadway Street in Nakusp, British Columbia. Built in 1922, it contains a Masonic Lodge upstairs and a retail store on the main floor.

Heritage Value

The Masonic Block is valued for its association with the Masonic Order that constructed the building in 1922 and with individuals associated with the Masons. These include George Keys, W. E. Marshall, F. W. Jordon, H. L. Rothwell, A. E. Haig, A. V. Carlston and J. Sneddon. George Keys designed and supervised the construction of the building. Born in 1868 in Ontario, Keys came to Nakusp to work as a carpenter in the shipyards. He was noted for the quality of his finishing work. The interior of the upstairs was designed as the Lodge meeting rooms. It contains original panelling, coloured glass in the windows, furnishings, and Masonic symbols.

The Masonic Block is also valued for its Beaux Arts architecture. The front façade of the building, facing Broadway, is divided into three bays by monumental pilasters, rendered in board, which reach from the ground to the cornice line. There are additional pilasters at each corner of the building. The arrangement of window and door openings is symmetrical. The flat roof has wide overhanging eaves decorated with large brackets at the head of the pilasters, and modillions between them. The upstairs double-hung windows are arched, with a fanlight, in the Beaux Arts style. This style of architecture was particularly favoured by the Canadian Bank of Commerce, one of the original tenants in the main floor of the building. The original narrow board siding has been stuccoed.

The Masonic Block is a testament to the emerging importance of Broadway Street as the predominant commercial street in Nakusp, and to the economic development of the area. In the post-WWI period businesses began moving from the waterfront up to Broadway Street after a fire destroyed many buildings on Bay Street. During this period of strong economic growth in the area, the two major lumber manufacturers could not keep up with demand, the Nakusp Electric Light and Power Company was formed in 1920, and a municipal water system was installed in 1923. The construction of the new Masonic Block, the largest building in Nakusp at the time, ensured that this trend continued. The Post Office (which had been on Bay Street) and the Bank of Commerce moved into the main floor of the new building.

Source: Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Masonic Block include its:
-location on Broadway Street
-monumental two-storey rectangular form and massing
-symmetrical pattern of openings in the façade
-fenestration, including round-headed windows with coloured fanlights in the arches
-accentuated cornice line with brackets and modillions
-original panelling, furniture, and Masonic symbols in the upstairs Lodge



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration
Peopling the Land
Developing Economies

Function - Category and Type


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Commerce / Commercial Services
Bank or Stock Exchange

Architect / Designer

George Keys


Harry Rawlings

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Source: Village of Nakusp Municipal Office, 91-1st Street NW, Nakusp, B.C. V0G 1R0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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