Our Buildings: 317 Clermont Avenue

The Masonic Temple at 317 Clermont Avenue has stood tall since 1907. (Drawing by Daniel Lewis)
The Masonic Temple at 317 Clermont Avenue has stood tall since 1909. (Drawing by Daniel Lewis)
What makes a neighborhood? People, pets and the stories that make up our days. But we also have our buildings, the places where we work, play, eat, sleep, learn and live. Throughout Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, you will find everything from colonial brownstones to housing projects to luxury apartments: buildings that have been here since the earliest days of this country. Have a building you think we should highlight? Let us know in the comments or email us at TheNabe@TheNabe.me.

Construction on the Brooklyn Masonic Temple at 317 Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene was completed in 1909, becoming home to 35 local lodges and affiliated groups. In a neighborhood that boasts brownstones of all shapes and sizes, the Masonic Temple stands out with it’s dramatic square design. Designed by Austin Lord and James Monroe Hewlett, the temple is almost perfectly cubic, measuring about 100 feet on each side.

The landmarked building has changed ownership over the years and is now open to the public for meetings and concerts, but the history of the temple is evident in its design. Despite the ornate terra cotta tiles and brickwork of the upper levels, the first 20 feet or so of the building is built from marble with none of the same ornamentation of the upper floors.