Old Masonic Hall
34-38 East Main Street, Knightstown
Time is Running Out
In the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, men who aspired to prominence in a community joined fraternal organizations—the Masons, Moose, Elk, Odd Fellows, Red Men—for networking and social opportunities. They built architecturally stylish lodge halls, often prominently sited on Main Street. On Knightstown’s Main Street—the historic National Road—the old Masonic hall sits empty and decaying. It’s restorable, but only if rescue happens soon.
The hall is privately owned. While it has suffered unsympathetic ground-floor alterations, the structure’s corner oriel and conical tower show its distinctive original character. The corner location adds to the landmark’s importance, anchoring the National Register-listed district’s historic streetscape.
After the city’s demolition of an adjacent building, cracks in the hall’s exposed wall and foundation allowed water infiltration and mold contamination. The landmark declines while the owner’s lawsuit against the city over the damage moves toward a trial.
The building needs immediate structural repair, restoration, and a new use to make it an active contributor to the community and the National Road Scenic Byway.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.