BNHA Grand Masonic Temple


Baltimore City Landmark

Interpretive Framework

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Star Attractions

Charles Street Byway

Cultural Walk

Resource Type

Points of Interest

221 N Charles St

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

At the close of the Civil War, the Grand Lodge of Maryland—the governing body of Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry in the state—commissioned a new Masonic temple to be built a block from the site they had occupied (and outgrown) since the 1820s. Architect Edmund Lind designed a grand, three-story marble building with shops on the first floor and rooms for Masonic functions on the upper floors. It was gutted by fire in 1890 and again in 1908. Each time, the Masons chose to rebuild, maintaining the original marble facade but adding floors and exuberant architectural details.

After the 1908 rebuilding, there were ten meeting rooms available for Masonic use, including a Tudor Gothic chamber modeled on the Roslyn Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland, and another room modeled on the interior of an Egyptian temple. The Grand Lodge of Maryland maintained its headquarters here until 1994. In 2005, the former temple was reopened as an event facility managed by the adjacent Tremont Plaza Hotel (now the Embassy Suites Baltimore-Inner Harbor). The painstaking restoration of the Masonic Temple’s interiors, now open to the public, makes it one of the most extraordinary conference facilities in the United States.