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Foundation Stone Laying 1927
Providence, Rhode Island Masonic Temple Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony, 1927.
Big Dreams
In this short flash-driven documentary, the narrator, Sandor Bodo, describes himself as "a photographer with the yen for the dark side of Providence." In what is a simple story of architectural recovery, he uses such inflammatory language as:
"Lurking on the west side of Capitol Hill, the Masonic Temple seems like the evil sibling of the Rhode Island State House.
"The gray granite structure with rows of fluted columns embedded into its sides almost pounce with envy at its gleaming white marble neighbour."1
While he may only be referring to the architecture, to have such language as "lurking", "evil", pounce with envy", and "dark side" associated with Freemasonry is disconcerting. The editors may have felt something of the same sense since they changed the narrator's words from "dark side of Providence" to "dark side of Providence's architecture" in the introductory headline.
The cornerstone for the Masonic Temple at 102 Francis Street, Providence, Rhode Island, was laid in 1927, but the Depression, and a lack of funds, prevented the building from ever being completed. It was abandoned until 1944 when it was purchased by the state. The plans to convert it to offices never materialized, and on November 16, 1993 the incomplete structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007 it was gutted and rebuilt as a luxury hotel.2
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1."Big Dreams", Sandor Bodo The Providence Journal, 2005. www.projo.com, accessed 2011/09/05.
2. "Temple digs", Daniel Barbarisi. The Providence Journal, May 20, 2007. www.projo.com, accessed 2011/09/05

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