About Masonic Temple
The Masonic Temple Building was a skyscraper built in Chicago, Illinois in 1892. Designed by the firm of Burnham and Root and built at the northeast corner of Randolph and State Streets, the building rose 22 stories. When the clock tower was removed from the 1885 Board of Trade Building in 1895, the Masonic Temple became the tallest in the city. The building featured a central court ringed by nine floors of shops with offices above and meeting rooms for the Masons at the very top. These meeting rooms also served as theaters, which contributed to the building's obsolescence; its elevators proved inadequate for these crowds, and the building rapidly fell from favor with commercial tenants. Chicago's building height regulations, enacted in 1892, did not allow taller building until the 1920s. In 1939, the Masonic Temple was demolished, in part due to its poor internal services, but also due to the construction of the new State Street subway, which would have necessitated expensive foundation retrofitting. A two-story "taxpayer" was erected in its place, and the Joffrey Tower currently stands on the former site of this building.