Spokane’s historic Masonic Center is for sale.
The downtown landmark — once one of the city’s foremost entertainment venues — faces an uncertain future, its current owners say.
The nonprofit that manages the facility has decided the five-story building on Riverside Avenue is too expensive to operate. Ron Cunningham, president of the Masonic Temple Association of Spokane, said maintenance costs can’t be covered in a down economy.
A second factor, Cunningham noted, is the steady decline in all-male Masonic membership. There are still more than a dozen area lodges or related groups, including women’s auxiliaries, but their collective membership is falling steadily, he said.
“We have a hard time competing with young men who have families, who have to work two or three jobs,” Cunningham said.
The social goal of the Masons hasn’t changed, however; it continues to be “the betterment of people,” he said.
“But we don’t recruit. People have to come to us to be a member,” he said.
The building’s asking price is $1.75 million. Spokane County lists the assessed value at $1.3 million. This is the first time the building — originally the Masonic Temple — has been for sale.