Construction of the Stapleton Masonic Temple began in 1901 and opened to our fraternity in 1902. Over the last 116 years it has been home to many Lodges and Concordant bodies of the Richmond District. Current home to Tompkins Lodge #471 F. & A.M., Tyrian R.A.M. #219 and Empire-DeWitt Commandery #14, and previous home of Klopstock Lodge #760, Aquehonga Lodge #905, Richmond Lodge #66, Beacon Light Lodge #701, Empire Commandery #66, the Staten Island Chapter of the DeMolay, Tompkins and Rebecca Chapters of the O.E.S., and even the RMA for a time.
Even though 116 years sounds like a long time, and it is, the building of this temple began 20 years before it’s opening.
On March 1, 1882, by a motion adopted by the Lodge a building fund was started for the construction of a new Masonic Temple by depositing $6 into a special fund at the Staten Island Savings Bank. In 1890, after 8 years, having only grown to $31.07, the Brothers decided if a new temple was ever going to be a reality, measures had to be taken. In 1891 a committee was formed to provide the means to increase the building fund, and that is exactly what they did. By the end of the year, the building fund had grown to $889.65. Over the next 5 years donations were made, more fundraisers were held every year, and by the end of 1900 the building fund stood at $15,983.
Finally the idea of building a new temple began to look like a reality.
On January 2, 1901, the Lodge began its search for a site to build its new temple. Within a month the trustees had done their due diligence and reported on 3 possible sites to build a temple. 3 months later on April 3, 1901 the trustees were directed to purchase “the Brown Property”, a parcel of land 50’ x 100’ at the North East Corner of Bay St and Sand St.
Wasting no time at all, Brother Edward A Sargent, of Tompkins Lodge, was selected as the architect, and his designs were to be built by Harry Spruck and Sons Construction. On November 16ththe same year a grand celebration was held for the laying of the cornerstone.
Less then 5 months later, on March 5, 1902 the building was given in charge to the trustees of Tompkins Lodge. September 3rd1902, the first Lodge meeting was held in the new building.
As our current tenant (of 25 years) is set to depart at the end of their current lease, many options are in front of us but 1 thing is for sure, the Stapleton Masonic Temple must remain a pillar of the Richmond District as it always has been.
As such, we the Brothers of Tompkins Lodge have re-started the building fund not only to address our immediate needs, but also to invest in our future and our buildings future. Before we can bring a new tenant in multiple renovations and repairs will need to be made to both the 1st and 2nd floors.
Donors to the re-started building fund will receive recognition on our new Donation Tree.
Suggested donation tree amounts: (multiple leaves may be purchased)
- $20 – Green Leaf
- $50 – Bronze Leaf
- $100 – Silver Leaf
- $200 – Gold Leaf
For more information on the building fund or to make a donation, please contact (347) 559-7305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current and future Brothers of Tompkins Lodge thank you for all donations.