Chicago has a rich history of men of all walks of life involved in Freemasonry, since the first Masonic lodge was built in the city in 1843. Upon closer inspection, you will find that many buildings and homes still in use today were once Masonic buildings.
One such example is Stan Mansion, a grandiose building originally erected in 1923 to house a chapter of the Knights Templar, the Humboldt Park Commandery No. 79. The Knights Templar is one of many fraternal orders affiliated with the Freemasons, dating back to the Crusades in the 18th century.
The Temple took just six months to construct, and remained a Masonic lodge for a most of its years. It was eventually purchased by its current owner Cera Stan, who restored the building to its original splendor, and repurposed it as a popular event venue in what’s now Chicago’s Logan Square Historic District.
Just next door to Stan Mansion is the historic William Nowaczewski House, a large Queen Anne three-story greystone, replete with a medieval tower, which was built in 1897 and spans three city lots. The home is eye-catching sight to visitors of the area, and still retains many of its original interior features: beautiful inlaid hardwood floors, an ornately carved wooden staircase, stained glass windows and an elaborate lobby rotunda.
These grand structures are relics of the golden age of development in the district, which boomed between 1889 and 1930 before the Great Depression hit. During this period well-to-do businessmen built finely crafted mansions along the boulevards that outline Logan Square, many of which have preserved their original late 19th and early 20th century character and architectural styles. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to enjoy their grandeur even today.