The Masonic Temple in Las Vegas, New Mexico is a remarkable historic building, one of the oldest in Northern New Mexico and a treasure trove of antiques, artifacts and neat things. Built in 1894, it is the best remaining example of Richardsonian Romansesque buildings in New Mexico. Teddi Roosevelt was a Mason, and enjoyed this lodge, as have most of the business and political leaders of New Mexico.
When the lodge was at it's peak, it had an active network that created new businesses, had financing, and promoted the development of Las Vegas into the largest city in New Mexico. Those days of 1880-1960 were times of growth, progress and prosperity for Las Vegas, New Mexico, and the Masonic Lodge was considered a hub of energy and ideas.
The building itself is similar to Richardson's Cheney Block (1875-6) in Hartford, Connecticut with an end tower (the best view in Las Vegas), with pyramidical cap, the intimation of a tower at the opposite end, a recessed vertical grouping of windows set between massive piers and topped by round arches and the use of rough faced red New Mexico sandstone.
It has been the home of the Chapman Masonic Lodge #2, since 1895, and the lodge itself was founded in 1860.
The building has a coffee shop and lunch cafe on the second floor (with free internet) and makes a delightful setting for luncheons, in a grand old history setting. There by the fireplace you can sit beside Teddi Roosevelt's autographed photo, and enjoy the 80+ art pieces hanging on the walls.
The video below shows some of the secret areas of the ancient building that are rarely seen by the public. If you are a history buff or love antiques, you should check it out. Corner of Douglas and Eighth Street in Las Vegas. It is worth the trip.