BEATRICE – A stout-looking building will be coming down soon. The former Masonic Temple building, just south of the Gage County Courthouse, will be demolished.
:15 “the structure”
Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth says the tentative start of demolition is Friday. That means some precautions will be taken to protect motorists traveling Highway 77 and Grant Streets.
:21 “precautionary measure”
Tiemann Construction will be using large backhoes to tear down the building, which according to historical accounts, was constructed around 1915 to 1916 initially as the New Congregational Church. It was dedicated on June 4th, of 1916, according to Megan Sothan of the Gage County Historical Museum. However, a master of the Masonic lodge in 2001 said it was built in 1908. The Masons later acquired it as their temple around 1928…and in 2013, vacated it and moved to a smaller, more energy efficient building at 7th and Ella Streets. In any event, Mayor Wirth says the building became a bit too impractical for its use.
:09 “temple needed”
St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Church are taking over the property. A parking lot and playground is located just east of the Masonic building.