The Guthrie Temple Legacy
The date was January 20, 1921. The greatest Scottish Rite demons tration in Oklahoma’s history was about to be staged on a crisp and sunny Winter afternoon. Led by the Shrine band and patrol, a procession of 600 men and women marched from the site of the old Temple at Harrison and Broad Streets West to Second Street, then North one block to Oklahoma Avenue, then East on Oklahoma Avenue for the ½ mile journey to the grounds of the cathedral site. There were no vehicles–just 600 enthusiastic souls, including 430 candidates of the Cathedral Cornerstone Class–all marching to join the throng of people already at the site to participate with the Grand Lodge in laying the cornerstone on what was to become one of the largest buildings ever to serve the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
More than 8,000 people witnessed the ceremonies. It was indeed a grand event for a grand cause–the cause of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The new Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple, like its predecessor , was built upon the hope and promise that the great moral lessons of the Rite would become the guiding force for good in the lives of generation after generation of men.
Today, after more than one hundred years, the Guthrie Scottish Rite has done its share to make Masonry work for all times. It has done what most Valleys have never dreamed. It has had a lofty vision. It has embraced the wonderful spirit of optimism that has enabled it to overcome all adversities. It has set the example as the University of Freemasonry. Through its resources, the talents of its members, their gifts, their abilities, and their untiring devotion to the volunteerism of fraternity, the Guthrie Scottish Rite ranks today among the most respected of Masonic institutions anywhere.
Ours is a heritage which stands with dignity before the world. If you want to feel the pride of fraternal success, if you want to see what fraternal vision can produce in brick and mortar, come visit us. It is indeed a magical place where every heart is ennobled. The Guthrie Scottish Rite is truly a Mecca of American Freemasonry.
In April, 1987, the Oklahoma Historical Society informed the Guthrie Scottish Rite Building Company that the National Park Service had listed the Guthrie Temple on the National Register of Historic Places. This act established an official public sanction that the property is worthy of preservation. A year later, the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service issued a letter ruling granting the Valley the legal authorization to include the solicitation and expenditure of funds to preserve and renovate the Guthrie Scottish Rite Masonic Center as a tax exempt purpose. We became the first Masonic Building in the United States where contributions for restoration are tax deductible within Section 501c(3) of the law.
An important project currently needing your assistance in funding is the complete restoration and adaptive reuse of the old Legislative Hall of State Government, the 1907 building which is now attached to the Temple and used as a banquet hall and sleeping rooms. This restoration program is estimated to cost $1.6 million, and is known as the “First Capitol Legislative Hall and Conference Center” reuse project. The intent is to restore the old Legislative Hall to its original 1907 condition as closely as possible, and to convert this complex to a public conference center, complete with banquet hall, meeting rooms, and executive sleeping quarters. It is one of the most historic of all buildings in Oklahoma and is the only building remaining which housed the legislature before the capitol was moved to Oklahoma City in 1910.
How You Can Help
The Guthrie Valley actively pursues donations from members, corporations, foundations, and friends to restore and preserve Oklahoma’s most beautiful building. The Guthrie Scottish Rite Foundation has also established a Temple Improvement Endowment to raise adequate funds to permanently endow the ongoing improvement and restoration needs of the building and its property.
The endowment goal is $4 million.
There are several ways donors can help us keep the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple as a national landmark building for the fraternity. If you can help, checks can be made out to the Guthrie Temple Improvement Fund, and mailed to:
Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple
PO Box 70
Guthrie, OK 73044
You need only specify the level of giving you select from our online list of restoration opportunities. You may make a gift to aid the ongoing restoration programs, or you can make a gift directly to the endowment fund. The principal of the endowment fund is never spent. A gift to the endowment insures that funds will be available to support the Temple restoration into perpetuity. All gifts will be acknowledged for tax purposes.
- Named brick or stone – $50, $200, $400:
- you specify the level of giving and we will contact you for working out your message in brick or stone
- Temple Architects – $250-$500:
- Your name on a plaque in the Atrium
- Temple Overseers – $500-$999:
- Your name on a plaque in the Atrium
- “365” Club – $365:
- One $ per day for a year. A donor plaque hangs in the Atrium. Contributions 3 years in a row makes you a member of the Builder’s Guild
- Solomon’s Elect – $100/month for 3 months:
- A plaque in Atrium listing donors
- Temple Builder’s Guild – $1,000:
- A plaque in the Atrium listing donors
- Named Rooms – $25,000 and up
- A bronze plate with donor’s name hangs on the wall just outside the restored artistic room
Donors of all of the above gifts also receive a special newsletter from time to time giving updates on projects, completion schedules, and invitations to grand openings, receptions, etc. In addition, a gift of any amount can be made to the annual campaign for restoration.
We invite you to become an investor in the preservation of Oklahoma’s most beautiful building. Masonic membership is not required. Your gift is simply a personal expression of the importance you place on preserving the great architectural wonders of America. You will be helping all Oklahomans keep the Guthrie Scottish Rite Masonic Center for all generations to enjoy and use.