The Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral

The beautiful Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral

I’m lucky to live only about an hour from Indianapolis. Every year, about this time, I go over and visit the largest Masonic building in the United States—the Valley of Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral. There is nothing that can prepare you for the grandeur of this building.  It covers a city block with its massive tower rising 212 feet overhead and featuring a 54-bell clarion. It’s considered by many to be one of the finest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture in the United States.

It's just a stunning building, and it makes for an irresistible backdrop.  It's never hard to find somebody to take your picture during a reunion--you'll always find someebody outside doing the exact same thing.  Looking for somebody to take their picture on the front steps of the building.  Even Barrack Obama couldn't resist the impressive visual the cathedral provides.
As remarkable as the building is on the outside, the inside is all the more impressive. The dimensions are laid out on the Masonic number 33. You’ll find that number repeated everywhere in the building. The Tyler’s room at the entrance is 33 feet by 33 feet and 66 feet tall. The pillars in the ballroom are set 33 feet apart. The building itself is 330 feet wide.

The cathedral is filled with ornate carved wood, antiques, and incredible stained glass windows on a scale unmatched anywhere. I think the thing that I love most, is the amount of stained glass—it’s everywhere. You’ll find it over doorways, and decorating staircase landings, and in little reading nooks and alcoves—stunning examples of the art in its most exemplary form. I think that’s why there is such a unique feeling in the building. It's the lighting due to so much of the sunlight streaming in through those beautiful windows.

Just a few of the amenities inside is a theater that seats 1,200, and has a full-scale pipe organ. In the basement, a dining room big enough to feed all of them. There is also a beautiful ballroom with a dance floor that is cushioned by a system of springs. It’s very comfortable to dance on for hours on end—ask Taylor Swift, she filmed her video for her song “Changes” in the ballroom. There are libraries and meeting rooms, and lodge rooms. Everywhere you turn, you stumble on some small alcove, or interesting feature.

I’ve been there many times now, and each time, I discover something new, and I look forward to going every year. A few years ago, the Valley of Danville (my Valley) was invited over to present the 26th Degree during their reunion. Believe me, the theater may look like an antique on the public side, but is has been fully updated and modernized. It has incredible state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and projection systems.

So go check this place out. You don’t even have to be a Mason. They offer tours! It’s visited by more than 100,000 people every year. If you like it, you can even rent the ballroom out for your family reunion or your wedding reception.

And you be sure and watch Taylor Swift's Video for her song "Change" filmed in the ballroom.

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