October 16, 2013

Scottish Rite Temple, Oakland

            photos by Styrous®

For the last two years I have been experiencing circles long abandoned come full cycle. Friends, people, situations, jobs and events of 10, 20 30, even as far back as 60 years ago have been making an appearance after decades of lost contact. One of these cycles completed after 30 years last weekend.

On Aug. 24, 1983, I produced a fashion show for Oakland designer, Ignacio Peri, at the Scottish Rite Temple at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Flash forward thirty years and I am preparing for a visit to my studio by the Oakland Heritage Alliance Artist's Studio tour. The OHA organizes events, tours and lectures on various subjects (historical, cultural, artistic, etc.) pertaining to Oakland. What's the connection? On Saturday, Melissa Pauna, Board Member and organizer for the tour, give me a ticket for one of their tours happening the next day; a tour of the Scottish Rite Temple.

When I did the fashion show at the Temple for I. Peri in the '80's, I'd had no time to see more than the theater where the show was held. I've always wanted to see the rest of the building but it is a Masonic temple and it is usually private. I couldn't believe my luck! What are the chances? Kismet?

Paul Adams, a Masonic member, conducted the tour while regaling us with the history of the Masons and Freemasonry, the rooms of the building (there are many of them) and items in them (many, many, MANY of these). He told us a little about the degrees, the codes and ethics of Freemasonry; events of importance, ghost stories regarding the building, even demonstrated a toast given at a Mason ceremony. He was sensational and his vast wealth of knowledge was greatly appreciated.

Some of the rooms and lobbies were not brightly lit which at first disappointed me but the low lighting made the architectural details more dramatic and stunning.

but let the photos tell the story

Paul Adams - tour conductor

photos by Styrous®

1547 Lakeside Dive
Oakland, CA 94612   
 (510) 451-1903

446 17th Street, Suite 301
Oakland, CA 94612
 (510) 763-9218

My thanks to the Oakland Heritage Alliance. It was everything and more than I had expected and it was worth the thirty years wait!

Styrous® ~ October 16, 2013


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