The historic Masonic Temple at 700 North Madison Avenue in Bay City, Michigan was originally built in 1893. The Temple was designed by Pratt and Koeppe, the same architectural firm that designed the historic City Hall and First Presbyterian Church.
In May 1903, the new Temple was destroyed by fire. All that remained of the building were the vertical walls. The entire roof, including a 114 foot-high Octagonal Minaret Tower and three Moorish Domes, was completely destroyed. The Masonic fraternity immediately set out to rebuild the building. The rebuilt Temple was completed and rededicated in 1905. The building has long been considered one of the two most beautiful Masonic buildings in the country.
The Bay Arts Council purchased the building from the Joppa Lodge Masons in 2005 to save it for its cultural, historic, and architectural importance. With significant performance spaces in the building, the Bay Arts Council believed the building could serve as an important venue for arts programming. In 2011, The Bay Arts Council formed the Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple of Bay City (Friends) to develop the vision and the plan for the use of the building, to make it self-sustaining, and to raise the funds to preserve and renovate it. The Friends is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity. Contributions to the Friends to preserve and renovate the Temple building are tax deductible. The Bay Arts Council transferred ownership of the Temple to the Friends in December 2016 and the Friends is now fully responsible for the management, operation and renovation of this historic building. Through the efforts of the Friends the Temple was accepted to the National Register of Historic Places in March 2016 and is designated as a building of statewide historic significance.