The Masons have been part of Pasadena life since 1883, and the Scottish Rite Cathedral on Madison Avenue is an appropriately monumental home for the influential organization. The dramatic Zig Zag Moderne structure, complete with a pair of sphinxes guarding the entrance, was completed in 1925, two years before the Pasadena Masonic Temple was dedicated in the Civic Center District.
The members of the cathedral may be best known for their musical and dramatic performances on the Cathedral’s stage and for the Pasadena Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center. Like the Masonic Temple, the building is available for special events rental.
The steps of the Cathedral were the scene of a 1930s murder that remains unsolved to this day. Leonard Seiver, a prominent dentist and playboy in Pasadena, was gunned down near the Cathedral sphinxes. Despite an intensive investigation that included the interrogation of 700 young men in the area, no arrests were made and the case is still a mystery.
Visit California with Atlas Obscura Trips
Hip-Hop, Hippies, and Robots: Invention and Reinvention in San Francisco
We'll set out together, September 19-21, to explore unusual galleries, test our cocktail-making skills, and visit the city's best unofficial museum.