NoeHill Travels in the American West: California

National Register of Historic Places in Solano County

National Register #78000798: Suisun City Masonic Lodge 23 May 2006
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National Register #78000798
Suisun City Masonic Lodge
623 Main Street
Suisun City
Built 1855

The Suisun Lodge Number 55 F. & A.M. is significant for its Gothic Revival architectural style and for its historic associations with the development of Suisun City.

Constructed originally as a lodge and retail store, the building has been continuously used for these functions since 1855. It is a good example of public and commercial architecture, common during the mid-19th Century in California and is significant for the excellence of its craftsmanship and design.

In 1855, Hiram Rush, a Solano County rancher and a Mason, was building a store. Fellow lodge members asked Rush to add a third floor for a new lodge with the lodge paying the aditional cost. Rush subsequently deeded the property to the Masonic Order.

Rush was closely associated with the agricultural development of Solano County and California. He immigrated to California in 1849, engaged in livestock raising and eventually acquired 51,000 acres of land. This made him one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens in Solano County.

The methods and materials employed in the construction of the lodge are in many ways typical of the period. Brick was considered to be superior for commercial construction because of its fire-resistant qualities. Because of the threat of fire in the 1850's, some cities required that buildings in commercial sections be constructed of brick or stone. Metal fire doors were usually employed as well, and such buildings were widely regarded as fireproof.

Cast iron fronts were also popular architectural details during the 1850's.

The Masonic Lodge's unique contribution to the Suisun City streetscape is the four colorful stained glass windows which rise nearly two stories.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

Some Masonic Halls in California

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