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Masonic Temple sold

BY Sara Barker


At its Tuesday meeting, Save Our Stories, or SOS, discussed finalizing its Upstairs Downtown tour, a possible gala-like event and a new owner for the Masonic Temple.

SOS president Dave Homer said Ken Puckett, who owns Peace and Plenty Catering in Jonesboro, is expected to close on his ownership of the Masonic Temple by Wednesday or Thursday. Puckett is finalizing the deal with the property's current owner, the Grant County Rescue Mission.

Puckett wants to turn the space into an event center, possibly pairing with his current catering business. All of the original china and glass is still in the building, Homer said.

The building, Homer said, lends itself well to entertainment, since the structure is supported by steel siding, not support beams running through the middle of rooms.

The Masonic Temple also includes an organ. According to Homer, it is fully functional.

SOS also discussed a potential sale of a building at 506 S. Boots St., but it would need much more work than the Masonic Temple.

The property, which the Marion Housing Authority has cosigned on with SOS, has an interested person, but converting the space into something useable would be a challenge, the group said.

The building has no HVAC system, needs an electrical system overhaul and could use a new roof. It’s also questionable if the building could qualify for the national historic registry.

“I don’t know at this point if anything will happen,” Homer said.

SOS is also planning an event to bring the community to a side of historic buildings they rarely get to see: living spaces on the upper floors.

At the Upstairs Downtown tour June 16, participants can take a guided walk through the second and third floors of some downtown buildings.

For $10, participants will be able to walk through four buildings and see office spaces and apartments that aren’t normally seen by the general public.

Aside from the tour, there will also be a pop-up art gallery at 123 E. Third Street. Currently, two artists will be displaying their work, but SOS is looking into involving more.

Afterward, Partners for Affordable Housing’s Matt Gadus will speak about renovations of Wabash apartments Rock City Lofts.

Another event is also in the works. Homer said he met with John Devine of The Quilter’s Hall of Fame and discussed holding a fundraiser for the quilters.

The event, he decided, would likely be at the train station and would be a catered, RSVP event complete with white tablecloths and a jazz group of some kind.

Members of SOS brainstormed members of the community they would like to invite who could help donate to the capital fund for the train station and to the quilters.

The event will probably be in mid-October, Homer said.

SOS will meet again on July 10 at 4:30 p.m. at the Marion Public Library.

UPDATE: The story has been updated and corrected. The original headline stated that SOS sold the Masonic Temple. The temple is being sold by the Grant County Rescue Mission, the property's current owner. An addition was made to note that the Masonic Temple is currently owned by the Grant County Rescue Mission. A correction has been made about the organ at the temple as well. A previous version stated the organ at the Masonic Temple was in need of work. It is functional. The organ referenced by Grant County Historian Bill Munn that is in need of work is the one at the YMCA.