Masonic Temple (Parkersburg, West Virginia)
First built in 1903 as part of Parkersburg's first "suburb," the Masonic Temple remains in active use today and is an important architectural element of the Avery Street Historic District. The Temple is listed in the National Register of Historic Places both individually and as part of the District.
Backstory and Context
This wide, red brick building was designed by architect Frank L. Packard of Columbus, Ohio, who also went on to design a home for President Warren G. Harding in Marion, Ohio, a group of buildings at the Ohio State University campus, Parkersburg High School, and the original West Virginia State Capitol Annex, among others. Less well known today, Frank Packard's death in 1923 was front page news for both major Columbus newspapers.
The structure's first story, built of limestone ashlar (very finely cut, precisely fitted stone with minimal joints between), forming a strong visual contrast that has made the Temple an iconic Parkersburg landmark from the beginning, as evidenced by countless postcards throughout the century.
Surrounding the lodge within the Avery Street Historic District are at least twelve different architectural styles, primarily residential, reflecting the economic, social, and architectural trends of the 1900s and 1910s. The lodge was a centerpiece for the burgeoning suburb, which contained a large number of middle-class families that helped propel Parkersburg's growth in the early part of the century. The Temple was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and joined by the entry of the entire historic district in 1986.
National Register of Historic Places, Avery Street Historic District, Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia, National Register #86000849.
Frank L. Packard. Grandview Heights / Marble Cliff Historical Society. . Accessed September 18, 2018. http://www.ghmchs.org/PackardFiles/packard.html.
Frank Packard, Architect. Osura News. . Accessed September 18, 2018. https://alumnigroups.osu.edu/osura/wp-content/uploads/sites/267/2016/09/8-2016-newsletter.pdf.