Demolition in Le Roy: Tearing down the Temple
About a year ago, the owners of the Le Roy Masonic Temple on West Main Street near the intersection with Lake Street "agreed to an option to Walgreen's" to tear down the temple and the buildings on either side of it—including a vacant gasoline station and a numismatist—to make way for a retail pharmacy. Residents in the village were understandably shaken by the news. Village historian Lynne Belluscio admitted that she was overwhelmed by requests to know more about the historic temple that was at least a century old. She responded via an article that was run in the Le Roy Pennysaver last July.
The building is pictured in the book The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County, New York. It is described as a "simple Romanesque revival design in vogue in the mid-nineteenth century. Stylistic features include the arcaded decorative molding at the roofline, the ocular window in the gable end and the use of the Romanesque arch for window and door openings." Those of you who remember the difference between a Gothic arch and a Roman arch, know that the Roman arch is rounded and the Gothic arch is pointed.
Plywood boards now occupy that Roman arch. Chain-link fence runs the length of the sidewalk in front of the temple and its neighbors and wraps around the corner, around a pair of vacant homes on Lake Street. Demolition is set to begin on Monday. Walgreen's plans to start construction in about a month, once the debris is cleared.
In her article, Belluscio tells about the history of the site, tied in even to the fate of the notorious anti-Mason William Morgan. I can't say if anyone plans to visit the site Monday to bid the structure adieu. But surely, I hope, someone will be there.
The history of a building, (writes Belluscio), allows us an opportunity to examine the history of our community and the Masonic Lodge in Le Roy has played a significant role in the history of Western New York.
Which poses another question...what business are really needed in our area?