MASONIC BLOCK


  
     
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24050 (527-9) W. Lockport Street – Masonic Block (1892)

This two-story Queen Anne style building was built soon after the December 1891 fire and occupies two lots. This is one of the most architecturally significant and prominent buildings in Downtown Plainfield. 

 

The storefronts have the original cast iron columns and beams with recently rebuilt wood bulkheads and window frames covered with canvas awnings.  The upper façade is brick with three large window openings:  the center window is slightly arched, the flanking windows have brick flat arches, and all of the windows have sides with bullnose brick.  The window sashes were recently rebuilt with short double hung windows topped with transoms (replacing glass block).  The corner is marked with a decorative pressed metal turret window. The base of the turret has stylized leaves and fluted pilasters divide four double hung windows, each with double transoms.  Above the turret windows is a band of stylized leaves and the building’s cornice carries across the top of the turret and an onion dome caps the turret.   The building cornice is of highly ornamented pressed metal and includes a pediment above the arched window.  The nameplate on the pediment is inscribed with “Masonic Block.”  The cornice wraps around the corner and continues along the entire length of the west elevation. The west elevation is all brick with no storefronts and only a few punched window and door openings.

The building was constructed by the Masonic Lodge #536 for their meeting hall and continues to be used by the Masons. The original Masonic Hall was destroyed in the December 1891 fire and they purchased this lot in 1892 and built this structure. It was designed by architect John E. Minott and built by Hall and Doane, both firms were from Aurora. The storefronts have been occupied at various times by a grocery store, general store, appliance store, and a restaurant.  From 1931-1957, the west storefront was occupied by the U. S. Post Office.

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