Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rothsay Masonic Temple Bridgetown - Part 2

This post is an update on an earlier post I made about the Rothsay Masonic Temple in Bridgetown. At that time, the building had ceased operation as a Masonic lodge and was in the process of being sold by the Town of Bridgetown. I understand that a private developer has purchased the building with plans to renovate it for use as a venue for receptions.
Now, this update is not really an update on the status of the building. While I am very happy to see that something positive is going to happen with this terrific old building, that update is for somewhere down the line.

What caught my interest today was an archival image which I came across while looking at the Paul Yates collection which we have been digitizing at the O'Dell House Museum. Precisely dated, this image shows the building as it looked on August 3, 1915 at 5:30pm. I really must admire a photographer who records that much information about the time his pictures were taken. When I am dating archival pictures I am often happy if I get the right decade never mind the right month, day or minute. Since the building served as a Presbyterian church from 1871 to 1921, this is what it would have been used for when Yates shot this image.

If you compare the cropped version of the archival image with the image I took a couple months ago, you can clearly see what got my attention. It is almost like the difference sticks straight up in the air. Having seen this picture, I must admit that the truncated steeple just does not do justice to the building. The height of the original steeple makes the entire structure look lighter. This is because the original steeple draws the eye past the roof line which is otherwise the dominant feature of the structure. Despite this, with all the work needed on this building, I can not see steeple restoration being too high on the agenda of any new owners.

All for now,

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