A committee of Scottish Rite Masons was formed in 1929 to investigate the feasibility of a temple to be owned exclusively by the Scottish Rite bodies and located in the vicinity of Camden City. At that time the Bodies were meeting in the Camden Masonic Temple. The committee's research proved this plan practical. After consideration of several sites, the Hurley estate in West Collingswood was decided upon as most suitable, and construction began in 1930. The cornerstone was laid and the building dedicated on October 3, 1931 by Grand Lodge. The two corner properties at White Horse Pike and Harrison Ave. were purchased in 1951 and the Excelsior Bodies became owners of the entire block bordered by White Horse Pike, Magill, Franklin, and Harrison Avenues.
The main building was constructed at a cost of $500,000. It is completely fire resistant and the best materials were used to provide us with a building of lasting quality and beauty. The Proscenium Arch is 45 feet wide and the stage is 27 feet deep; the lighting controls can duplicate any lighting condition for special effect. Our backdrops are many and varied. The auditorium has seating for 1050 people. The specially built Moller pipe order provides us with beautiful music before and during the ceremonies. The banquet hall seats 700 people on the main floor and 300 on the balcony. We have a fully equipped kitchen.
The original manse, now the administration building, was left standing and interconnections made. The first floor contains the offices, a large sitting room, and sun porch; the second floor contains the library, museum, and choir room; a pool room occupies the third floor.
The William P. Memorial Walk was erected and dedicated in 1948. The walk, extending from the Pike to the administration building, is decorated with plantings along the walk and the American flag flies daily from the staff about which our members may sit and relax.
The Frank C. Sayrs Memorial Elevator and Vestibule was erected and dedicated in 1962. This provides ground level entry and the elevator eliminates the need to climb stairways, permitting our mature or disabled brethren a chance to attend our many functions.
There is no mortgage to assume, and there has never been a charge levied upon our membership for the upkeep of the temple.
Excelsior Bodies extends an invitation for you to come out and participate in our activities, and enjoy our fine temple and the advantages it offers.