Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More about City Stage..

The old Masonic Building located at 21 North Front Street was created when in 1897, several Masonic groups banded together and decided to build a new Masonic Temple. With plans made, construction began in 1898 with the cornerstone of the building being laid on May 13, 1899.

The fifth floor of the building was converted to the present theatre around 1914. It was occupied by the Scottish Rite Bodies from 1909-1981. The robing room for the Masons is now the dressing room for the actors. The second, third and forth floors were used by the Masonic and Allied Masonic Bodies from the time the building was opened until 1981.

On June 24, 1982 the building was sold to the Wilmington Holding Corporation who renovated the second floor of the building. Offices were then leased to the Army Corps of Engineers who also leased space in 23 North Front Street. If you look in the alley between 21 and 23 North Front, you can see the breezeway between the two buildings which was used as a crossover by the engineers.

The building changed hands again when on August 31, 1992 actor Dennis Hopper purchased the property. After purchasing the Masonic Building, Mr. Hopper embarked on renovations of the building. Mr Hopper then sold the building to John Sutton who is the current owner of the Masonic Building. The fifth floor theatre and rooftop are leased by Level 5 at City Stage, the forth floor has condos for rent, the third floor hosts River City Suites which are available for nightly or weekly rental, and the second floor is home to several businesses.

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