Masonic Building a hub of activity in city’s downtown

Every city has a handful of buildings that, over the years, become venerable.

Most often, it seems, these structures are tied to the history of the city and its people, making them important landmarks worth preserving and repurposing, if at all possible.

The city of Marquette is no different in this regard. Included on a list of venerable structures might be Old City Hall, the State Savings Bank building and the Masonic Building.

The Masonic Building in particular seems to be burgeoning with activity these days. According to a recent Mining Journal story on the matter, Rusty and Staci Northrup are the new owners of this historic building.

The present building was constructed in 1939 after an early morning fire destroyed the original 1890 structure. It housed the Marquette Opera House for a number of years.

The Journal story noted that Masonic organizations bought the building in 1927 and leased most of it to retail establishments.

A few months ago, the Northrups came into ownership from the Masons, although the Masons still meet in their temple on the top floor. Rusty Northrup is a Mason, as well as the new owner.

The Northrups rent out some of the large spaces for weddings, receptions and performances during times when it’s not in use by the Masons for their regular meetings and ceremonies.

There’s a whole lot of commercial activity going on. Eleven separate stores are operating and a handful of professional offices and even a church have leased office space.

While we could go on and on about how well the Northrups have done with the Masonic Building, we’ll simply say this: Respectful use and repurposing is entirely appropriate when it comes to venerable structures. We wish them all the best.


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