Gainesville Masonic Lodge re-dedicates new building; Keith Perry to renovate old building
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The Gainesville Masonic Lodge Number 41 had a re-dedication ceremony Wednesday evening at their new location. This is only the second dedication in the lodges existence.
“This lodge was actually chartered originally back on January the 15th, 1857,” said Grand Master Thomas Lee Turlington. “It’s been in existence now under the charter for 163 years. So this is a pretty big deal for us tonight.”
The new location is behind Adam’s Rib Company on 13th street. Members say this location is a better fit and will help them save some money.
The old Masonic Lodge, which is one of the more historic buildings in downtown Gainesville, was put up for sale just over a year ago. In February of 2020, the building was purchased by State Senator Keith Perry.
“When it came up that this building was going up for sale, we looked at this and said, man this is an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to do this,” said Perry. “To restore it back to what it’s original grandeur was.”
Perry partnered with Gainesville lawyer Luis D. Rodriguez to purchase the building for $700,000. They are putting $1,400,000 dollars worth of renovations into it.
“It’s going to be an event center. It’s going to be an open place to the public events, probably weddings will be the biggest thing that we try and get to come here and I think we won’t have any trouble,” Perry said. “There’s a lot of wedding venues that are more rustic or farm. There’s not a lot that are really classic with this kind of building. So that will be the biggest draw but i think it’s going to be open for any event, any time.”
The renovations are scheduled to be done by the end of Spring in 2021.
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