Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Chippendale, Co-Masonic Temple

This Co-Masonic Temple on Regent Street in the inner city suburb of Chippendale was built in 1898. It was originally the hall of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on this site. The church became St Alban's Liberal Catholic Church in 1918 and the Co-Masons bought the hall. The church closed in 1966, as the walls were becoming unstable and during demolition the south wall fell and wiped out most of the rear of the temple, later rebuilt. An unsuccessful development proposal was lodged in 2000 to demolish this building and replace it with a nine storey apartment block. Luckily it was decided that the temple is of historic significance due to its strong physical link to the Wesleyan Church and the Co-Masons. Co-Masonry or Co-Freemasonry is a form of Freemasonry which admits both men and women. In 2008, a successful redevelopment retained the temple for commercial use. A hall was demolished and replaced with more suitable residential buildings up to five storeys beside and behind the temple building.


  1. Feels to be even stronger than time.

    Please have a good Tuesday.

    daily athens

  2. Lovely old building and beautiful against your always, gorgeous blue skies! Terrific capture as always, Jim! Have a great week!


  3. Jim
    you find great locations :)

    This is the strangest architecture. I wonder if it was based on a specific masonic model overseas. By the way, who were the Co-Masons?

  4. Glad that the building was saved. Very lovely building.

  5. Beautiful building. So fortunate that it is saved!

  6. i love historical places such as this, good thing your government restored and preserved it

    Here's my scenic scene entry for this week, hope you check it out too.
    I Love Darly!
    Food and Passion

  7. Beautiful building! Happy RT! mine is here: http://clavsupclose.blogspot.com/2011/05/mymbm-rt.html

  8. Hels, from what I can gather, it seems Co-Masonry or Co-Freemasonry is a form of Freemasonry which admits both men and women. I'd never heard of Co-Masons before seeing it on this building. I'll add something to the post.

  9. I'm always so glad when they try to restore old buildings rather than tear them down. You can't bring "history" back once it is gone. Mickie :)

  10. Hi there - makes a change for both of us to have put up a building!

    I think it’s important that we can strike a balance between saving buildings and still making use of them. A little way from here is the front of an old bank - nothing else just the front. A number of planning applications have been rejected because the developer wants to change some aspect of the facade - as a result a prime development site looks more like a bomb site! I may take a picture to post!

    Cheers Stewart M.

    PS: seems like the got the balance right with the Co-Masonic lodge!

  11. beautiful historic building. thanks for sharing your world.

  12. This building and Hyde Park Barracks benefit from their simple classical lines. Have never heard of co-masionary before so an interesting bit of trivia.

  13. Nice one Jim, wish we kept more of our old buildings rather than knock them down.

  14. Another great tour !! Booom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  15. 'Tis an elegant building indeed!


    A seeker of crimson and red
    Did part her fair lips as she said,
    “A daiquiri’s fine,
    And so is red wine,
    But I prefer claret instead!”

    ©2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Still Life with Red Blossoms

  16. Thanks Jim for all your comments haven't been able to return the compliments until now, great shot and story.

  17. The site originally was the Wesleyan Methodist Church and hall. In 1918 the church became St Alban's Liberal Catholic Church, and the Co-Masons bought the hall. The church closed in 1966 as the walls were becoming unstable, and during demolition the south wall fell and wiped out most of the rear of the Masonic temple. This was later rebuilt and served as a temple until the co-masons moved to their current building in Alexandria.
    I was archivist for the Liberal Catholic Church at the time developers wanted to rebuild on the whole temple site, and had also some connections with the co-masons, so both the local conservation group and the developers interviewed me about the history of the temple.
    The hall at St Michael's Anglican, Surry Hills is similar style to the temple.
    Interesting that Regent Street attracted diverse but in some ways strangely similar groups like lady masons, the rationalist Association, Liberal Catholics, and Buffaloes.

    Fr Laurence

  18. Fr Laurence, thanks for all that extra info on the history of the site. I'll add some of it to the post.

  19. Hi All,

    Co-Freemasonry still exists in Sydney. To learn more:
    -email ricthomas_70@yahoo.com.au or
    -check out our Facebook page: Co-Freemasonry Austraia
    Best Wishes,



Thanks for visiting my blog. Please leave me a message. Jim.

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