Scottish Rite Masonic Temple | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Larry Underhill

Scottish Rite Masonic Temple

After almost a decade of near vacancy, the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple was purchased in 2013. Guess, Inc. clothier owners Maurice and Paul Marciano (through the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation) paid $8 million for the property and announced plans to house their extensive contemporary art collections in the historic building.

At the time of its construction in 1961 the Scottish Rite membership was still growing, eventually peaking at about 18,000 Masons in the Los Angeles area. Yet the building had stood largely vacant since1994, when the Masons closed the facility due to dwindling membership. Land-use restrictions, and the unique, nearly windowless, design of the building, limited its options for reuse.

Yet this design served as a perfect space to display art. The design firm wHY repurposed the building, taking advantage of its unique features. The building reopened in 2017 as the Marciano Art Foundation, with free public access three days a week.

The building features prominently in materials about the collection, and the renovated library houses a trove of objects left in the building by the Masons. 

The Conservancy has long recognized the significance of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, having featured the building in its 2005 Curating the City: Wilshire Boulevard program.