Freemasons Open Major Museum In Los Angeles
December 11, 2002
A Report By Norio Hayakawa
LOS ANGELES -- A huge Masonic Musem opened its doors to the public for the first time in Los Angeles on November 26, 2002 with hardly any publicity. It is located at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple at 4357 Wilshire Blvd., at the corner of Wilshire and "Lucerne"Street, south of "6th" Street and bounded on the east by Plymouth St.
The official name of the museum is The American Heritage Masonic Museum. I had a privilege of visiting the museum on December 11, 2002.
As soon as I got there, I noticed that there was a large Eye of Horus along with the G mark, the Compass, and the Beehive, and the Double-Headed Eagle adorning the western wall on Lucerne St. I also noticed a huge statue of Albert Pike encarved on the eastern wall of the building on Plymouth St. I had learned that the new tenant of the property, Morris Shaoulian had stated that the museum tells the tale of the Freemasons and their impact on American history.
"This museum is not just a museum", she said. "We want all people to use and appeciate the musem. Everybody has a place here". (The building had closed its doors to the public a decade ago because of zoning issues.) The bulk of the prolific exhibits of artifacts (which include huge portraits of Albert Pike and other 33rd degree Masons) are located on the second floor. I noticed a fascinating photo of King Juan Carlos of Spain in there, as well as photos of presidents such as Harry Truman. Other items depict the Masonic affiliations of other past American presidents, from George Washington to Gerald Ford. A large library in the second floor contains tens of thousands of volumes of rare books on Freemasonry as well as books on the New Age and the occult. I was truly impressed. One can sit in the library there and it would probably take at least a whole year just to browse through volumes and volumes of those rare books. From what I am tolld, the 15,000 square-foot museum is the first increment in a planned 45,000 square-foot multi-purpose facility to be known in the near future as Wilshire International Pavilion. I was also impressed with the 1,800-seat theater being renovated on the first floor. The museum is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $5, seniors 55 and older $3 and children up to 15 $2.
It was really an "illuminating" experience and perhaps some people will be "enlightened" ( hopefully not frightened ) in the museum. Some may be totally mystified with all types of occultic symbolisms everywhere in this museum. Whether one is pro or con on freemasonry, I would encourage everyone to visit this fascinating museum at least once.