The Lodge Room | MN Masonic Heritage Center

Return to Tradition

Incorporating high quality finishes with all the symbolism of the Blue Lodge, the Alfred E. Ames Lodge Room provides Lodges and Chapters with ready-made facilities to perform the important work of Freemasonry.

The Lodge Room includes a lounge, ante room, and ample storage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are the columns different?

The columns are examples of the Five Orders of Architecture from ancient Roman and Greek times. They represent the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite styles. As with many items in a Lodge, the columns are used as a teaching tool in one of the initiation ceremonies, or Degrees.

Does the ceiling represent anything in particular?

It is an interpretation of the star-decked canopy of the heavens; the layout of the stars and planets is of no significance. You may have heard the term “Blue Lodge” when referring to Symbolic (also known as Craft) Masonry; while no one can say for sure, one explanation is that the term “Blue Lodge” may have been selected to represent the sky.

Where do the stairs go?

Just to an empty balcony. The staircase is another item used for instruction during the initiation ceremonies of the Lodge.

What does the “G” stand for?

Geometry, and God. The lessons of Freemasonry use King Solomon’s Temple in ancient Jerusalem as a teaching tool for learning and self-improvement, using tools like the square, level, and plumb. They were used to help determine the geometry needed to build the Temple. Because of the geometry we experience in our everyday world, Masons refer to God as the Great Architect of the Universe.

What is meant by Great Architect of the Universe?

It’s a non-sectarian title which Masons use to refer to God. A Mason must be a man of faith, but discussion of religion is forbidden in Lodge. A man’s faith is his own concern, and no one else’s.

If Masons don’t discuss religion, why is there a Bible on the pedestal in the center of the room?

The pedestal is called the Altar of Obligation, or simply the Altar. The Volume of Sacred Law (in this case, the Holy Bible) upon it is where a candidate takes vows to adhere to the beliefs and concepts taught in the Degrees. The VSL is there because it is important in and to the life of the Mason and how he lives his life, and has teachings that all humankind should live by. You could also say that the Holy Bible should be in the center of our lives, and for that reason it’s placed in the center of the room.

Is the big painting of any significance?

This is an artist’s conception of King Solomon’s Temple in ancient Jerusalem. The setting was painted by Minnesota theatrical scenic art specialist Wendy Waszut-Barrett, PhD. King Solomon’s Temple is important in the Masonic fraternity because it is used to teach lessons through symbolism.

Why are some chairs on raised platforms?

The three tallest chairs are centered in the Symbolic East, West, and South, which are the stations of the principal officers of a Lodge. In the East is the Master, or President; the West holds the Senior Warden, or First Vice President; the South is the Junior Warden, or Second Vice President’s station.

What’s with the compass directions?

King Solomon’s Temple was said to be oriented on a line from due East to West. Since Freemasonry’s teachings revolve around stories in King Solomon’s Temple, it made sense to our early Masonic predecessors to also use symbolic East-West alignment. Additionally, it represents the daily path of the Sun. There is no station in the North, as it represents a place of darkness.

Is there a reason the floor in the center of the room is made of black & white tile?

Masonic tradition holds that the floor of King Solomon’s Temple was a checkered pavement of black and white stone. It is to remind us of the good and evil we encounter and deal with in our daily lives. The “sawtooth” edges on the pavement’s plane are called a tessellated border, which is a term for a repeating pattern on the plane of the pavement, with no overlaps or gaps. As with many of the unique items in this room, not all Lodges have a checkered pavement.

What do the symbols or carvings on the pedestals mean?

They represent tools used in buildings and geometry. Symbolically, the Square teaches us to square our actions with others; the Level, that all are created equal; the Plumb, to walk uprightly before God and humankind.

Tell me about the two large pillars by the stairs.

They are called Jachin and Boaz, and represent the bronze pillars of the same name which stood in the porch, or outer court, of King Solomon’s Temple.

Which Lodge meets here?

Because the Ames Lodge is meant for all the Masonic organizations of Minnesota to use, there is no one group who may call this their “home.”

Who’s the guy in the painting?

The portrait in the lounge is the man for whom the Lodge room is named, Alfred E.Ames. He was the first Grand Master of Masons of Minnesota, and was an important figure in the establishment of Freemasonry in our State.

What are Masonic Degrees?

There are three degrees, or levels, of initiatory ceremonies. They are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Contrary to what many believe, there is no “higher” degree than that of Master Mason.

The big stones on the stairs are for…?

The stones are called ashlars. One is in an unfinished and imperfect condition; the other is smooth and finished. They represent our lives, and remind us that we should strive to break the rough corners off and seek to perfect ourselves in the eyes of God.

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