Masonic Auditorium and Temple

sights / Architecture

Masonic Auditorium and Temple information

San Francisco , USA
1111 California St
+1 415 292 9137
Getting there
Bus: 1
Tram: California St
More information (museum) (concert calendar)
Opening hours
Lobby 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; Museum: 10am-3pm Mon-Thu & by appointment
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Conspiracy theorists, rock aficionados and anyone exploring immigrant roots must know the Masonic Auditorium. Built as a temple to freemasonry in 1958 in mid-century modern style, and remodeled in 2014, the building hosts headline acts and, every other Tuesday, mass US-citizenship swearing-in ceremonies. Peak inside the lobby to see the window mosaics. The on-site museum focuses on California's Masonic history.

If you're looking for confirmation that California is run by a secret club, here you have it: many of the nation's founding fathers were Freemasons, including George Washington, and the same can be said about California's. It's all captured in the modernist stained-glass windows, which depict founders of freemasonry in California and their accomplishments – if you can decipher the enigmatic symbols and snippets of fabric embedded in the glass. The frieze below the windows has soil and gravel samples from all 58 California counties, plus Hawaii for some reason known only to those in on the secret handshake. Downstairs reveals some of the society's intriguing secrets.