Built on the site of the townhouse of their first Grandmaster, the Earl of Rosse, this building was completed in 1866. The result of an architectural competition, it was designed by Edward Holmes of Birmingham. An unusual face for Dublin, the architect used three orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The pediment contains the Masonic square and compass.
Described in The Building News, January 17, 1868: ” A new masonic hall and club-house is now being erected on the north site of Molesworth-street. The front elevation (Italian style) is divided into three styles ; the lower one is of the Doric order, the centre of the Ionic, and the upper of the Corinthian. It has been executed in Ancaster stone. The whole is surmounted by a pediment (the entire width of front), in the centre of which are the masonic emblems. The height of the building from ground line to top of pediment is about 73ft. The design is by Mr. Edward Holmes, of Birmingham and London, and was selected in a competition in the early part of 1866. Mr. Meade, of Great Brunswick-street, is the contractor. The cost will be about £8,000.”
The Interior is a riot of colour and architectural styles and themes. The Royal Arch Chapter room is an egyptian theme; the Prince Mason’s Chapter room is Gothic Tudor; and the Kinghts Templar room is designed as a medieval chapel.