Building of the Day: 317 Clermont Avenue

The BOTD is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.

Address: 317 Clermont Avenue, corner of Lafayette Ave.
Name: Brooklyn Masonic Temple
Neighborhood:
Fort Greene (Fort Greene Historic District)
Year Built: 1906
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical
Architects: Lord & Hewlett and Pell &Corbett
Landmarked: Yes

Thirty-five lodges joined in the building of this magnificent Masonic Temple. The size and design alone would have been impressive, especially in this location, but what makes this building a masterpiece is the use of polychrome glazed terra-cotta.

The colors rise to the roof, with green, yellow, blue, sienna and cream in a joyous profusion of ornamental detail. This is one of the earliest and best polychrome terra-cotta buildings in New York City.

Fort Greene Brooklyn -- 317 Clermont Avenue History

The interior boasts a 1000 seat, 4 story auditorium on the ground floor, 3 story lodge rooms above, and a double height room above that. One of the architects, James Monroe Hewlett, was also responsible for the drawings that became the Sky Ceiling Fresco in Grand Central Terminal.

Fort Greene Brooklyn -- 317 Clermont Avenue History Fort Greene Brooklyn -- 317 Clermont Avenue History Fort Greene Brooklyn -- 317 Clermont Avenue History

[Photos by Suzanne Spellen]

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