Side A: The first Masonic Lodge in Dayton was founded in 1808, located in the first Montgomery County Courthouse. Various other locations were home to Masons in Dayton, but by World War I, rapid growth of the Masonic community called for the creation of a new Lodge building. Masons of the time, including civic and business leaders of Dayton, conceived the idea of a new Masonic Center located on the hill at Belmonte Park North and Riverview Avenue. Ground was broken and construction of the $2.5 million Masonic Temple began on July 20, 1925. Through contributions from the Masonic community, the tremendous task of raising a majority of the building cost, $1.5 million, was accomplished in merely ten days in 1924. It is doubtful that the Temple could be duplicated given the fact that the large quantities of marble and mahogany and cherry woods used in construction would be difficult to procure today.
Side B: The Dayton Masonic Temple was completed and dedicated on April 3, 1928. The building and grounds occupy eight and a half acres on the west bank of the Great Miami River. The firm of Herman & Brown of Dayton was hired to design this imposing building with its unique Grecian Ionic architectural design. Two hundred and fifty rooms and seven auditoriums, each with a pipe organ, are contained within the eight-story building. Throughout the building’s history, the Dayton Masonic Temple has been adapted to different situations. With the onset of World War II, a plan for the Temple to become a temporary hospital was put in place. The Cuban Missile Crisis saw the Temple outfitted as a community Fallout Shelter. Today, the Dayton Masonic Temple stands as a solid memorial to Freemasonry and will continue to serve the community and future generations of Freemasons.