About Us | History

The Wisconsin Masonic Center (WMC) is owned and operated by the Wisconsin Masonic Center Foundation, Inc. (WMCF). The WMCF is a 501 c 3 tax exempt corporation. The building is a local landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The WMC continues to be a community resource in downtown Madison for Auditorium events, wedding receptions, corporate events, graduations, meetings, etc.

The purposes of the WMCF shall be to engage in any lawful activities within the purposes for which the corporation may be organized under Chapter 181 of the Wisconsin Statutes and to operate exclusively for charitable & educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including but not limited to the solicitation & raising of funds for the construction, stocking, & operation of a Masonic library and museum; and for the restoration, maintenance, operation & preservation of the Wisconsin Masonic Temple of Freemasonry (The Building) located at 301 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, Wisconsin 53703-2107.

History of the Madison Masonic Center

(as published in the Temple Tidings, 2010)
by Michael T. Heitke, Director Robert Monteith Masonic Library and Museum

In 1891, the First Presbyterian Church on Wisconsin Avenue was purchased and remodeled into a Masonic Temple.  In 1915, Brothers James and Edward Law, of Law and Law Architects, drew up plans for a new Masonic Temple.  World War I interrupted the plans for a new Temple.  After the war, Law and Law Architects drew up new plans for an even larger Temple.  In November 1922, the plans were announced to build a new Masonic Temple that would cost at least $500,000. On the afternoon of May 14, 1923, the first shovel of earth was lifted by Brother John H. Corscot which started the construction of the new building.

The Cornerstone of the Madison Temple of Freemasonry was laid October 31, 1923.  Charles F. Lamb, Grand Master, presided.  John H. Corscot, Past Grand Master, acted as Grand Master in laying the stone.  Charles E. Whelan, Past Grand Master, delivered the address.

The structure size of the building is 112 feet wide and 182 feet long.  The land acquired, prior to the building of the Temple, cost some $56,000 and was appraised in 1923 at over $97,000.

The new building, inclusive of fixed and attached equipment, cost $519,000.  The general furnishings cost $68,000.  Total value of the property in 1923 was $684,000.

On September 30, 1925, the dedication of the Madison Masonic Center was headlined in the Wisconsin State Journal.  Designed by Madison architects James R. and Edward J. Law, the Masonic Center is an official state and local landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years, the Center has evolved into an entertainment venue for the general public in addition to holding Masonic activities. Wedding receptions, holiday parties, graduations and business conferences are just a few of the events that go on at the Center.

If you are interested in helping the Wisconsin Masonic Foundation continue to preserve the building and serve the community by donating to the Foundation, please contact John Prindle at 608-256-5734.