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Fidelity Masonic Lodge #5 Municipal Heritage Site

Fidelity Masonic Lodge #5, Grand Bank, NL
Fidelity Masonic Lodge #5, Grand Bank, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Description of Historic Place

Fidelity Masonic Lodge #5 (formerly #1659) is a wooden, two-storey, Classical Revival inspired building. Built in 1905, it is located at 11 Church Street, Grand Bank, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Fidelity Masonic Lodge has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Grand Bank due to its aesthetic, historic and cultural values.

Fidelity Masonic Lodge has aesthetic value as it is an excellent example of Classical Revival style applied to a lodge building in Newfoundland and Labrador. Built by Samuel Bell, the building features a moulded fascia with plain soffit, evenly spaced pedimented windows and achieves an overall symmetry through the patterned use of cornice mouldings and pilasters. A gable peak on the Church Street elevation has decorations which include the Masonic compass and square with inset “G” motif, representing the three great lights of Masonry. The gable peak, minus the Masonic insignia, is repeated on the two ends of the building, but not on the rear.

Fidelity Masonic Lodge has historical value due to its association with the Free Masons, an internationally known fraternal organization. Masons in Newfoundland received their first warrant in 1746. Fidelity Lodge #1659 received its charter in December of 1876. Initially meetings were held in the homes of members. Early by-laws for Fidelity Lodge stated that members who hosted meetings in their homes were not to hold an office in the lodge. Fidelity Lodge has been home to Grand Bank Masons from the time of its construction in 1905 and is the oldest original gathering hall in the community.

Fidelity Masonic Lodge has cultural value as it is a physical reminder of a time when fraternal organizations played a significant role in society. Membership in such organizations was a highly sought after honour. Pride in the affiliation with Freemasonry is reflected in the use of Masonic symbolism on the main facade of the building. Located on one of Grand Bank’s main streets, this symbolism speaks directly to Masons and indirectly to other citizens who may not know the exact meaning of the symbols but realize their associations with Freemasonry.

Fidelity Masonic Lodge has further cultural value as it has been used as a community space for a variety of functions, such as a public gathering place, a courthouse and a Sunday School. The upper floor was strictly used for Masonic functions.

Source: Town of Grand Bank Regular Council Meeting Motion #2007-923, March 12, 2007.

Character Defining Elements

All those exterior elements that embody Classical Revival architecture and local cultural values, including;
- hip roof with centre peaks;
- number of storeys;
- narrow wooden clapboard;
- boxed pilasters on exterior walls;
- moulded fascia;
- exterior cornice moulding demarcating second floor;
- window size, style, trim and placement;
- pediments above windows on first storey;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
- pedimented door surround;
- overall symmetry of the exterior facade;
- dimension, location and orientation of building, and;
- Masonic emblems on the front gable.

Location and History

Community Grand Bank
Municipality Town of Grand Bank
Civic Address 011 Church Street
Construction 1904 - 1905
Builder
Samuel Bell
Style Classical Revival
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
Website Link http://www.townofgrandbank.com