Minnesota Masonic Charities (MMC) today announced it has begun construction on a 50,000 square-foot Heritage Center, which will include a 425-seat auditorium/community theater, museum space, full catering kitchen and dining facility, library and conference space.
The Bloomington-based organization has selected Adolfson & Peterson as contractors and Trossen Wright Plutowski Architects, PA, (TWP) for the building, which is slated to open on the Masonic campus in June 2016.
“Masons such as James J. Hill, the Mayo Brothers, and Hubert H. Humphrey, all made such significant and recognizable contributions to Minnesota’s history,” said Eric J. Neetenbeek, president and CEO of Minnesota Masonic Charities. “Establishing a Masonic Heritage Center – which will be one of very few in the country – provides an opportunity to honor the work and values of Masons in Minnesota.”
Construction on the Heritage Center has begun and the facility will replace two obsolete buildings on the Masonic campus. The building design will introduce the concepts of Freemasonry and its significance in history and complement the majestic campus in style.
“You don’t see this kind of building – which includes a brick façade with concrete-block backup, tile roofing and high-level finishes – often being constructed anymore,” said Mark Adamson, vice president of pre-construction for Adolfson & Peterson. “It will be a beautiful place to meet, host events and display Masonic artifacts when it’s completed.”
Crucial to the design and construction are the architectural features that Trossen Wright Plutowski and Adolfson & Peterson will ensure are represented within the structure. The exterior is designed to be compatible with the existing surroundings and the interiors will include classical shapes and historic characteristics such as highly detailed columns, arches and keyways and masonry patterning.
“The quality of materials, beauty and design of stone and brickwork really represent concepts from the golden age of architecture,” said Alan Plutowski, principal architect at Trossen Wright Plutowski. “The building will have an openness, inviting the community to experience it.”
Adolfson & Peterson, one of the country’s top 100 commercial contractors, was selected for its quality and award-winning craftsmanship. The company was responsible for contracting of the American Swedish Institute, which Minnesota Masonic Charities task force members toured during the early Heritage Center planning stages.
“We recognized the Masonic group as exceptional people, with a high level of integrity and we had trust in them,” said Adamson. “Together, the Masonic staff, our craftsmen and the team at Trossen, Wright Plutowski have become a high-functioning group, working together to achieve this project.”
Similarly, MMC is pleased to be working with Trossen Wright Plutowski. TWP is fortunate to have staff involvement from earlier building projects completed at the same historic campus in the early ‘90s. “It’s a great opportunity to work on the Masonic campus again and to help educate the public about the Masons’ work,” said Plutowski.
“Minnesota Masonic Charities envisions the Heritage Center as a destination for all to enjoy, a place to come and learn some history, make use of the auditorium or simply find inspiration,” said Neetenbeek. “This campus is really a jewel of the community and has a great deal of historic significance. We hope to share that with all who visit the Center.”