1898-1899; 1914 [remodeled]
25 N. Front St., Wilmington, NC
Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).
Wilmington architect-builder James F. Post submitted an earlier design for the Masonic Temple, but the Masons chose the design by the Minnesota architect McMillen, who specialized in Masonic temples. This commission brought McMillen to Wilmington, where he settled down to practice his profession. The cornerstone was laid on May 18, 1899, and the building opened on November 20. The 4-story edifice of pressed brick and brownstone had stores on the first floor, offices on the second floor, the Masonic lodge halls on the third floor, and a ballroom on the fourth floor. Frederick B. Miles executed the carved ornament of the entrance. In January, 1914, the Scottish Rite Masons leased the ballroom from the central body and expended $4000 to create a theater, complete with stage, designed by Joseph F. Leitner. For more details, see Janet K. Seapker, “St. John’s Masonic Lodge, Part II: Other Masonic Lodges,” Lower Cape Fear Historical Society Bulletin, Vol. L, No. 2, April 2006; and Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984).