AL-Colored Masonic Temple Project
The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons of Alabama, is the oldest continually African-American fraternal order in the State of Alabama.
The mission of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama is to continue the legacy of making good men better through fraternal brotherhood, to aid and assist our widows, orphans, and distressed brothers, and to contribute to the community through service, scholarship, charity and training.
It was under the leadership of the fifth elected Most Worshipful Grand Master since consolidation that Walter T. Woods, who was one of the two African American architects, designed the Temple Building. The other Architect was Taylor E. Persley.
In 1922, construction of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Alabama Temple Building began at 1630 Fourth Avenue in Birmingham, Alabama. At the time of its erection, the Temple Building was the largest and best equipped state-of-the-art luxurious building built by and paid for by Negroes, globally.
There have been no debts or encumbrances of any kind or description on the property. The building was not only paid its own expenses, including repairs and improvements but has been out of small annual profits to contribute to the Mortuary Account of the Endowment Department, from which account widows and orphans are paid their death claims.
This seven-story Mannerist-influenced, Renaissance Revival style building was constructed by the Windham Brothers Construction Company. In addition to housing, the state headquarters for Prince Hall Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star, the Temple Building served as the exclusive social and cultural center for the city's African American community for many years, i.e., formal meeting space, for the conduct of business activities, as well as concerts and formal social affairs. The State of Alabama Department of Archives and History credits this building for creating the second flurry of buildings by African American businesses in the city of Birmingham in the early 1920s.
Designated on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the "Fourth Avenue Historic District" in 1982, this significant structure has served the Birmingham community and the general Grand Lodge for 81 years.
It housed professional offices for doctors and lawyers, retail and restaurant vendors and other prominent African American community leaders and organizations. Excluded from white owned and operated downtown public and private facilities, hotels, clubs and restaurants due to the American apartheid/Jim Crow systems, the African American community used the Temple Building to accommodate the need for collectively housed professional offices.
The current administration, under the leadership of Grand Master Corey D. Hawkins, Sr., Esq., has been focused on the redevelopment and re-opening of the Colored Masonic Temple.
All proceeds from Phase 1 of this project will cover the planning, assessment work (envrionmentally safe removal of potentionally hazardous materials) and further the redevelopment concepts for the Colored Masonic Temple.
As a staple of Birmingham's Civil Rights District, your assistance is required to aid in bringing this gem of Prince Hall Freemasonry, the Civil Rights Movement and the City of Birmingham, back to life; therefore, you donation, no matter the amount will serve as a brick in the renovation of this historic edifice.
Thank you for your time and we hope that you can support our worthy cause!