by Jack Mayne Despite constant and varied rumors about the sale and potential uses of the Landmark Event Center, also known as the Old Masonic Home, the 88-year-old, 130,000 square foot facility and 27-acre campus on Marine View Drive is still owned by the Masonic Lodge, property manager David P. Owen said Monday. “I can’t guarantee anything,” said Owen, the lodge’s grand secretary. “All I can say is there is a signed purchase and sales agreement in place for someone who is interested in buying the property. I have not received any earnest money. We gave a back-up offer waiting.” About the rumors of the possible uses of the land and building, he said, “Once you sell the facility, whatever they do with it, that is their decision.” The building at 23660 Marine View Drive in Des Moines is described on the Mason’s website:

“The Freemasons of Washington State built Landmark in 1926 as a retirement community and have maintained ownership for the last 88 years. The Event Center was developed temporarily five years ago until a decision for the future of the building was made. Landmark has been empty for 10 years, is un-occupiable and is in need of renovation; we currently only utilize 25 percent of the building.”
Its sale was decided upon because the lodge simply could not afford to keep it nor the cost of rehabilitating it as a residential facility or for possible other uses. It has been on the market since January 2013. Owen said the offer is from Chinese developers but he does not know what the group has in mind. The potential buyers are trying to “go through a rezone with the City of Des Moines,” but that is all he knows. Marion Yoshino, economic development manager for Des Moines, said the group has made no zoning change requests as yet so there is nothing before city planners for them to decide. The current zoning is high density residential. Owen said the “liability” of the property is $20 million to $22 million cost to get the huge building up to codes to be operated as a residential facility. Here are some photos and videos that highlight this historic building’s beauty (click images to see larger versions/slideshow): LandmarkOnTheSound

Matt Shumate Photography

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[caption id="attachment_51059" align="aligncenter" width="490"]Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com A scene set in J. Edgar Hoover’s office was shot in the building’s Library for “The Maury Island Incident” film on July 1, 2013. Photo by Michael Brunk.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_51063" align="aligncenter" width="500"]timecapsule2 A Masonic time capsule buried in front of the building is scheduled to be opened on Aug. 25, 2030.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_51064" align="aligncenter" width="500"]masonicgate2 Historic Masonic symbols decorate the interior.[/caption] [youtube]http://youtu.be/0KQrWDU95MY[/youtube] [youtube]http://youtu.be/1_IP5nRPA7c[/youtube] [youtube]http://youtu.be/idHHfLM4jhQ[/youtube] Have any memories of this historic building? Please share them in Comments below…]]>