Renovation plans revealed for the former Masonic Temple



Posted on May 29, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 8:05 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane landmark is getting a new look and the owners hope to change a historic stretch of Downtown.

The Masonic Temple has stood in Spokane for more than a century. Its historic groundbreaking included a visit from President Theodore Roosevelt.

New owners of the Masonic Temple want to make it into a city center with restaurants and bars adding to the theaters and ballrooms already inside.

“I just saw it as being a building that had a lot of potential to be a lot more and to have more of a public existence,” said owner Greg Newell.

Newell owns an engineering firm in Spokane. He recently decided to take a stab at being a developer. He wants to celebrate the time period the building was built in while also letting people enjoy it in a modern setting. 

Riverside Place will keep hosting weddings and meeting offering one of Spokane’s best views of the river. It will eventually open up to people looking for a quick bite to eat.

The owners plan to add new restaurants and bar, including one on the rooftop.

“It is not just here as a historical monument but it is a facility for them to be able to be a part of,” said events planner Kimberly Scott.

The signature settings for the building will remain the same. One of the theaters inside will become a supper club with live music. Other venues will become bars with lounges located above.  The concept calls for redoing the sidewalks on Riverside Avenue and will create more space for people to walk and sit outside.

The building is more than 110,000 square feet. It will be renovated in stages. There is no timeline for when all of the projects will be finished.