The Scottish Rite Building:
The contract to construct the Scottish Rite Building was signed on May 10, 1913 for a price of $56,260. Despite the plethora of information customarily available in the computer age, it seems very unusual that in my search for data to write this blog there is extremely little data available about it anywhere. Until recently, when long delayed yet seriously needed repairs and upgrades generated a “reach out to the community” by the generally very secretive Masons, this building was actually closed to the public.
A Mason himself, Richard Sharp Smith was also responsible for the design of Asheville's Masonic Temple. Smith, initially from England, was also chosen by Richard Morris Hunt to supervise construction of Biltmore Estate. Our Asheville Bed and Breakfast is located in the Montford historic section of Asheville close to the downtown area. Many homes in this historic district some of which are now Asheville Bed and Breakfasts were designed by Richard Sharp Smith. He also worked in collaboration on the design of St. Lawrence Basilica.
The building was to include a library, reading room, secretarial offices, dining room and kitchen. The second floor was to be used by the Blue Lodge and bodies of the American or York Rite while preserving the third and forth floor of the building for the Scottish Rite Cathedral.
In the basement there was a bowling alley (has since been removed).
Doorknobs on the first and second floor are adorned with the square and compass. Third and forth floor door knobs have the double headed eagle.
The building contains 600,000 bricks make in Knoxville at a cost of $9.40 per thousand. All these materials arrived by rail which was present in Asheville at that time though nearly three miles from the building.
The street the building stands on was once known as Main Street though now the given address is 80 Broadway.
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