Sandringham Masonic Hall consisting of a large brick hall (1931), including interiors (main hall, lodge room, stairs and upper foyer) and adjoining rear brick addition (1956).
The Sandringham Masonic Hall was built in 1931 to provide a purpose-built facility for five lodges operating in the locality. The first of these, Sandringham Lodge No 220, was founded in 1912. The site in Abbott Street, Sandringham was acquired by the newly formed Sandringham District Hall Co Ltd in 1924 and plans for a masonic hall were prepared by architect Gordon J Sutherland. On 27 May 1931 the foundation stone for the Sandringham Masonic Hall was laid by Lord Somers, in his capacity as Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Victoria. At its peak the Sandringham Masonic Hall provided a meeting place for fourteen lodges and the building was enlarged in 1956 to provide for increasing membership.
The Sandringham Masonic Hall is a two storey rendered brick building designed in an Egyptian Revival style. It is a large parapeted building with a concealed gabled roof above the main lodge room and a symmetrical front facade. The Egyptian Revival style is evident in the dominant projecting two storey central front porch which contains cavetto cornices, columns with palmiform capitals, papyrus-bundle capitals, side grilles with stylised columns, two winged solar discs and two flanking obelisks. Side elevations contain small window openings and a rear brick addition continues the two storey form of the original building.
The Sandringham Masonic Hall consists of a main hall and entrance foyer at ground level and a lodge room and foyer at first floor level. Panelled ceilings, wall pilasters, window and door frames and stained glass windows are decorated with Egyptian-themed motifs, including palmette and papyrus mouldings, astrological symbols, winged solar discs and pentangles. Masonic symbols, such as the compass and square, are incorporated into the decorative scheme. The lodge room contains original light fittings, ritual furniture and raised side platforms with timber bench seating. The 1956 addition at the rear of the building contains a small lodge room at the upper level .
This site is part of the traditional land of the people of the Kulin Nation.
How is it significant?
Sandringham Masonic Hall is of historical, architectural and aesthetic significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Possession of uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in exhibiting particular aesthetic characteristics.
Why is it significant?
Sandringham Masonic Hall is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
Sandringham Masonic Hall is of historical significance due to its associations with freemasonry which played an important cultural role in Victoria. The large and substantial building illustrates the popularity of freemasonry particularly after World War I. [Criterion A]
Sandringham Masonic Hall is a rare and distinctive example of the Egyptian Revival architectural style in Victoria. There are very few buildings that adopt this style in Victoria and the Sandringham Masonic Hall is one of only three known examples of this style applied to a masonic hall. It is of particular note as the style is applied to both the exterior and interior of the building. The adoption of the Egyptian Revival style demonstrates the ideological link between freemasonry and ancient Egypt. It reflects both the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922 and the return of Australian soldiers from World War I with Egyptian objects displaying such motifs as the winged disc. [Criterion B]
Sandringham Masonic Hall is of aesthetic significance for its extensive and largely intact symbolic Egyptian-themed interior decorative scheme, particularly in the main hall, lodge room and upper foyer. It is a rare and unusual style of decoration in Victoria. [Criterion E]