A historic landmark more than a century old is seeing new life and a lot of it.
Erie’s Masonic Temple was built in 1909 on the corner of West 8th and Peach streets. Since that time, it has seen many different businesses, banquets, and Masonic lodge meetings.
Ethan Sykes, Masonic Temple Association President, says, “You know, they just don’t build things like this anymore. I think the time period in which it was built is really emblematic of a great prosperous time for the United States and for Erie.”
Recently, several new entities have moved into storefronts on the first floor of the building. Many of which had been empty for many years.
Sykes says, “You’re getting a really unique piece of history and it lets people kind of share that character and create a culture around a historic landmark in the city.”
Rachel Miller owns the ‘Elusive Fox Boutique’. She’s just one of the new businesses filling in the first floor of the Masonic building.
Miller says, “I think it’s… art, history, the architecture of these buildings, it kind of goes hand in hand.”
And, while these small business owners say that they love the history behind the building, they say it’s a sense of camaraderie about their neighbors that’s really exciting.
Edward Thompson and John Woodward, Owners of Eagle Eye Unlimited Custom Printing, LLC say
“Being downtown and then being a part of this community, the Masonic Temple, I’ve been in the building several times, it’s a wonderful building. We [were] greeted with open arms.”
And, although these tenants are still getting to know one another, with similar goals in mind, the future seems bright.
Miller tells us, “It feels like a family already. So, that’s really cool.”