3550 Federal Boulevard
Sat and Sun 11AM–4PM
Architect: Brothers M. H. Hoyt & B. Hoyt
Architectural Style: Classical Greek Revival
Year Built: 1927
Designation: National Register of Historic Places 1995
The order of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons has been a tremendous force in America. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, founders of the United States, were Masons. As America grew to the west, Masons were always in the forefront, bringing with them a love of freedom, a spirit of lawfulness, and a sense of community. Masonry came to Colorado with the pioneers and it can be said that the history of the early days of Colorado is the history of the achievements of the Masons of that time. Their firm beliefs in the tenants of the Fraternity – brotherly love, relief, and truth – and their constant practice of the four cardinal virtues – temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice – caused them to work in harmony and to take a prominent part in all of the movements tending to promote the welfare of the community. The first Masonic gathering took place at a cabin near Cherry Creek in 1858, the year Denver was founded. The Highlands Temple (Lodge #86) was one of the earlier lodges established in Denver. Chartered in 1897, they originally met in another historic building at 3220 North Federal Boulevard. In 1927, they designed and built their current home.
The Highlands Masonic Lodge was designed by brothers Merrill and Burnham Hoyt and was constructed in the Classical Greek Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. The building remains a place where Freemasons and their families can gather as a fraternal family organization. It is now also used as a place for public and private events such as festivals and weddings, and hosts many Masonic groups such as El Jebel Shriners. The largest building in the Highlands neighborhood, the Masonic Temple includes architectural detail such as original chandeliers and lighting, classical art deco ceilings, a bust of President and Freemason George Washington, a grand ballroom, square and compass designs in the floor work, and original door knobs throughout the building.
Burnham Hoyt (1887-1960) and Merrill Hoyt (1881-1933) were brothers who grew up at 2849 West 23rd Avenue in north Denver. They both graduated from North High School. Merrill received his architectural training at the prestigious firm of William Fisher, Architects. Burnham received his training at the Beaux Arts Institute in New York City. After serving in World War I, Burnham returned to Denver in 1919 to join his brother and form the architectural firm of H. B. and M. Hoyt, Architects. The firm prospered in the 1920s and is credited with the design of many of Denver's iconic buildings of the era. Their designs embraced various historical styles including Greek revival, Romanesque, and Spanish Revival. Together they designed residential, commercial, academic, and religious buildings. After Merrill’s death in 1933, Burnham returned to New York City and eventually became the Dean of the School of Architecture at New York University. Later he returned to Denver and had his own architectural firm until 1955. Both Hoyt brothers had numerous civic and professional accomplishments to their credit.
National Register of Historic Places.