The Grand Baltimore

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A Grand History

BUILT IN 1866

One of the most historic buildings in Baltimore; built in 1866, The Grand was first known as the Tremont Grand, and served as the headquarters for the Maryland Freemason for 130 years. In the late 1990’s the building underwent a massive restoration project before finally reopening in 2005. Completely restored to its original grandeur, The Grand is one of the most iconic event venues in Baltimore.

Inspired Architecture & Style

The Freemasons dedicated their first Grand Lodge in 1822, which was located on St. Paul Street and Lexington Avenue. Today, The Grand pays homage to the buildings’ history as one of its ballrooms is called the St. Paul Ballroom. During the Civil War the Grand Lodge was used as a Federal Courthouse and was later acquired as a permanent extension of the courthouse. Needing a new building for their lodge, the Freemasons began construction on what would become their new headquarters in 1866.

1729 - Bill establishing Baltimore as a town is signed into law on August 8.

  • 1743 The Maryland Jockey Club becomes the first professional sporting organization in the United States.
  • 1750 First Masonic Lodge in Maryland is established in Annapolis.
  • 1770 First Masonic Lodge in Baltimore is established at Fells Point by sailors belonging to the Philadelphia Freemasonry.
  • 1773 First United States stagecoach route begins running between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
  • 1775 Revolutionary War begins.
  • 1776 United States declares independence from England.
  • 1783 Revolutionary War ends. General George Washington, a Mason, resigns his commission in Annapolis.
  • 1787 United States Constitution is adopted. Maryland becomes the 7th state to ratify the United States Constitution. Grand Lodge of Maryland is established at meeting in Easton, Maryland.
  • 1792 First U.S. monument to Christopher Columbus is built in Baltimore. The Baltimore Water Company, first in the U.S., is chartered.
  • 1793 Fells Point Lodge is granted a charter and renamed Washington Lodge No. 3 (the oldest lodge still in existence in Maryland). Grand Lodge of Maryland presides over cornerstone laying of the nation’s Capitol. President and Mason George Washington cements the cornerstone. Concordia Lodge lends rooms for use as Grand Lodge in Exchange Coffee House at corner of Calvert and Waters Street.
  • 1796 First sugar refinery in the U.S. is founded by Garts and Leypoldt in Baltimore.
  • 1797 “USS Constellation” designed by Mason David Stoddard, becomes the first United States Naval warship to capture an enemy vessel.
  • 1811 Construction begins on first federally funded “National Road” to connect the Port of Baltimore to Wheeling, WV, and the Ohio Valley.
  • 1812 War of 1812 begins.
  • 1813 Grand Lodge of Maryland and Concordia Lodge move to old Baltimore Watch House on Guilford Avenue.
  • 1814 Francis Scott Key writes “The Star Spangled Banner” in Baltimore harbor near Fort McHenry. General Samuel Smith of Baltimore Lodge No. 16 commands defense of Baltimore. American painter Charles Wilson Peale opens the Peale Museum of art and science in Baltimore.
  • 1815 Samuel Kirk Company, the first U.S. manufacturer of silverware, is established. Cornerstone is laid for first Grand Lodge of Maryland building at St. Paul and Lexington Streets.
  • 1815 Levin Winder, Governor of Maryland and Grand Master, presides at cornerstone ceremony for the first permanent monument to George Washington.
  • 1816 Baltimore becomes the first city to illuminate streets with hydrogen gas.
  • 1890 First steam tanker in America, “The Maverick,” is built by W.T. Malster. Christmas Day fire, possibly caused by faulty electrical wiring, nearly destroys Masonic Temple. Only Concordia Lodge’s records are removed intact.
  • 1891 Bromo-Seltzer, the first commercial stomach antacid seltzer, is made by Captain Isaac E. Emerson. Masons hire architectural firm of Carson & Sperry to redesign the Grand Lodge.
  • 1892 First Ouija board is invented and patented by Isaac and William Fuld.
  • 1893 Newly rebuilt Grand Lodge is dedicated on September 12.
  • 1897 First practical submarine in the United States
  • 1900 Duckpin bowling is introduced at Diamond Bowling Lanes.
  • 1901 Grand Lodge lays cornerstone for 5th Regiment Armory.
  • 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore begins on February 7. Records and valuable items are removed from Grand Lodge but building is spared when winds shift. Fire comes as close as Lexington and St. Paul Streets. Baltimore Museum of Art established.
  • 1905 Grand Lodge lays cornerstone of the Maryland Institute College of Art, on Mount Royal Avenue.
  • 1908 Fire destroys third and fourth floors of Grand Lodge. Masons hire architect Joseph Evans Sperry to redesign the Grand Lodge.
  • 1909 Newly rebuilt Grand Lodge with added fifth floor is dedicated on November 16.
  • 1912 Grand Lodge lays cornerstone of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, at North Avenue and Calvert Street.
  • 1914 Centennial of the “Star Spangled Banner” is celebrated. Grand Lodge decorates the block in front of its building, including an illuminated arch spanning Charles Street.
  • 1918 Armistice is signed ending World War I.
  • 1920 First factory to manufacture stainless steel, Rustless Iron & Steel Company, is established.
  • 1925 First triple combination fireboat is put into service by Baltimore City Fire Department.
  • 1929 American Stock Market crashes. Baltimore Museum of Art opens new home on Museum Drive.
  • 1931 Cornerstone is laid for Masonic Homes, “Bonnie Blink,” in Cockeysville, Maryland.
  • 1932 Eastern Venetian Blind Company becomes first producer of Venetian blinds in United States. Walters Art Gallery opens.
  • 1937 Sesquicentennial of Grand Lodge of Maryland is celebrated, Grand Master Harry R. Wright presiding.
  • 1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. United States declares war and enters World War II. Grand Lodge is turned into air raid shelter. Blackout regulations are established for all Maryland Lodges. Masonic services are established for welfare of Masons among men in military. Grand Lodge is used as a Service Center. During the War, over 5,000 servicemen sleep in Marble Hall on 110 cots.
  • 1945 World War II ends.
  • 1946 First photograph of earth from space is produced at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
  • 1950 Korean War begins.
  • 1953 Korean War ends.
  • 1961 Viet Nam War begins.
  • 1966 Orioles beat Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series in four-game sweep. Baltimore Oriole Frank Robinson becomes first baseball player to be named MVP in both the American and National Leagues.
  • 1967 Grand Lodge lays cornerstone of South Baltimore General Hospital. Native Baltimorean
  • 1980 Harborplace opens. National Aquarium opens on Baltimore harbor.
  • 1983 Orioles beat Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series for third time.
  • 1985 Masonic Charities of Maryland is founded to award scholarships to combat substance abuse in partnership with Maryland State Department of Education, Student Assistance Program.
  • 1987 Bicentennial of the Grand Lodge of Maryland is celebrated, Grand Master Joseph C. Bryan III presiding.
  • 1991 Persian Gulf War takes place.
  • 1993 Construction of new Grand Lodge complex begins in Cockeysville, Maryland.
  • 1995 Baltimore Stallions become first American football team to win Canadian Football League Championship.
  • 1996 Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore and begin playing football as the Ravens. New Grand Lodge of Maryland complex in Cockeysville, Maryland, is completed.

1998 Former Grand Lodge is sold to Tremont Suite Hotels. City of Baltimore condemns former Grand Lodge structure for a new parking garage. City of Baltimore, Baltimore Downtown Partnership, and Tremont Suite Hotels craft agreement to save the former Grand Lodge from demolition. Tremont Suite Hotels hire architectural firm of Murphy & Dittenhafer to redesign the former Grand Lodge.

2001 Ravens defeat New York Giants to capture their first-ever World Championship in Super Bowl XXXV.
Terrorists attack New York’s World Trade Center and Pentagon in Washington, D.C., with major loss of life. President George Bush declares “War on Terror”.
2002 U.S. and allies invade Afghanistan. The motion picture “Head of State” is filmed in former Grand Lodge. Tremont Suites Hotels begins renovation of Grand Lodge and renames building the Tremont Grand.
2003 U.S. and coalition countries invade Iraq.
2005 Tremont Grand opens - now known as The Grand