From The Detroit News:
The Masons have won their legal battle over who owns Detroit’s Masonic Temple, the largest building of its kind.
“We won! All counts related to any claims of ownership of the Masonic is over. It it is clearly owned by the Masons,” said Bradley Dizik, special adviser to the Masonic Temple’s board of trustees.
Dizik was referring to a Tuesday ruling by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Kim Smith that dismissed claims by a former management company they had an ownership stake in the institution, according to Dizik, who is attorney and a consultant in the case.
The Masonic Temple Association of Detroit, which owns the Masonic Temple, booted the management company, Halberd Holdings, out of the facility in 2012. The association claimed, among other things, that Halberd was ruining the temple’s reputation by not paying its bills and hiring felons.
It came at time when the 1,037-room facility faced a financial crisis. The News revealed in April the Cass Corridor institution owed Wayne County $152,000 in back taxes. It faced being sold at the annual auction of foreclosed properties. Bidding for the 14-story Gothic structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, would have started at $160,000. The Mason’s claimed that it was never in danger of being sold in foreclosure and they had worked out a deal with county officials.
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The Detroit Masonic Temple is the world’s largest Masonic Temple. Located in the Cass Corridor of Detroit, Michigan, at 500 Temple Street, the building serves as a home to various masonic organizations including the York Rite Sovereign College of North America. The building contains a variety of public spaces including three theaters, three ballrooms and banquet halls, and a 160 by 100 feet (49 m × 30 m) clear-span drill hall. Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, racquetball court, gymnasium, bowling alley, and a pool hall. There are also numerous lodge rooms, offices, and dining spaces as well as a ‘hotel’ tower designed for visiting members. The Masonic Temple Theatre is a venue for concerts, Broadway shows, and other special events in the Detroit Theater District. Architect George D. Mason designed the theatre which contains a 55-by-100-foot (17 m × 30 m) stage.
The Detroit Masonic Temple was designed in the neo-gothic architectural style, using a great deal of limestone. The ritual building features 14 floors, stands 210 feet (64 m) tall, with 1037 rooms. It dominates the skyline in an area known as Cass Corridor, across Temple Street from Cass Park, and Cass Technical High School. It is within walking distance of the MotorCity Casino Hotel.
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