HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
This postcard depicts the Masonic Temple, on the northeast corner of East Walnut and Pearl Streets, near the Landers Theatre. It appears to be postmarked in 1909 and was produced by the Simplicity Company in Chicago. The cornerstone was laid on November 15, 1906 with a time capsule buried inside the 900 pound cornerstone. In November of 1980 the copper box was opened and found to contain coins, Springfield newspapers from 1906, a postcard with a two cent stamp and a business card from Reed and Heckenlively, the designers of the building. The time capsule was opened to prepare for the dedication of the new Masonic Temple at the southwest corner of Kansas Avenue and Catalpa Street.
The original Masonic Temple contained 26,500 square feet of floor space in four stories and included both a birdcage elevator surrounded by stairs and a freight elevator. The building is made of red brick and contains several large meeting rooms and a 42-by-45-foot auditorium on the fourth floor. The building continued as the Masonic Temple, serving both Masons and Shriners, until the new temple was built in 1980.
In 1985-86 Shirato Properties, owned by Jim and Virginia Shirato renovated the structure, which was by then on the Springfield Historic Sites Register. The Vandivort Theater occupies the top floor of the building and seats 302. The 1988 Springfield City Directory showed 38 tenants occupying the building and the Springfield Business Journal lists the building every year as one of Springfield's largest multi-tenant office buildings.