Masonic Temple Building

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Demolished 1939 

The Disappointed Tourist: Masonic Temple Building, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 24 x 18″ (61 x 46 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Masonic Temple Building was an early Chicago skyscraper designed by the firm of Burnham and Root, completed in 1892. With 21 stories, it was the tallest building in the city until the 1920s. It was the home office of the Knights Templars and Masons Life Indemnity Company and some of the city’s Masonic lodges. It was demolished in 1939 by developer Arthur Rubloff to make way for a new low-rise building due to the expansion of the subway beneath. I got the date wrong on the painting — I’ll fix it the next time I have the painting in my possession. The painting is based an old uncredited photograph.

Requested by Anon.