Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Scottish Rite Temple

To get to our rv park we drove through Guthrie, up a big hill, into the town limit of Cedar Valley, and just past one of the championship golf courses

Giant golf balls on giant tees mark the boundary of the course.

This is a small park, about 92 sites with all pull-thru sites, concrete rv pads, 30 and 50 amp full hook-ups, laundry, meeting rooms, free wi-fi, restrooms and showers, and horseshoes. 

One building houses the office, laundry, showers/restrooms, and meeting rooms.

Our site is just behind the building.

Cedar trees everywhere.

This morning we took the bike back down the hill to the Victorian city of Guthrie.  In April of 1889 the Indian Territory town of Guthrie grew by nearly 10,000 people in just six hours as a result of the famous "land run" of 1889.  This event produced Oklahoma's nickname, "Sooner", because of the hundreds of people that got an early start by sneaking past the line before noon on April 22, the official start time of the land run.  Guthrie soon became the capital of the State of Oklahoma.  Three short years later, Oklahoma City became the state capital when, as the result of the passing of House Bill 7,  Governer Haskell carried the state seal to Oklahoma City. (I will tell more about this issue next time.)Most of the city's historic buildings have been preserved and now represent one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations.  The city now shows off its past via trolley and horse drawn carriage tours.  

We toured via Harley-Davidson.  Our first stop.

Among the participants of the Oklahoma land rush was Harper Cunningham.  He came to practice law and to establish the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry  in the new territory.  He  saw to it that one of the finest examples of architecture was constructed in the heart of Guthrie, the then seat of the Territorial government, and the First State Capitol of Oklahoma.  That building soon proved to be too small to serve the Masonic Fraternity, but continued to be used until 1923.  Meanwhile,in 1910, when the state capitol was moved to Oklahoma City,  the citizens of Guthrie voted to give the Scottish Rite Building Company the 10.6 acres originally platted as the Capitol Park including the old Legislative Hall which formally housed the State legislature.  The Brotherhood decided to build a new temple on the grounds.

Our tour guide showed us the wonderful architecture designed to represent the civilizations who joined art and culture in architectural history. It also tries to show the opulent extravagance of  King Solomon's Temple.  The double eagle, an ancient and much used motif, represents diligence against enemies.

Ceiling detail

The 32nd degree Scottish Rite symbol.  (This is a Scottish Rite temple)

Wonderful old case clock--still working and keeping perfect time.

Detail on one of the many stained glass windows throughout the temple.

The architect designed each part of the temple to represent the architecture and motifs of the ruling powers  King Solomon's age. 

Atrium representing a Roman courtyard.  The courtyard would have been open to the weather with a reflecting pool in the middle.   

Three popular types of columns (l to r)--Doric (flat), Roman, Greek

By special permission this stone was cut from the quarry where King Solomon found the marble for his temple.

Arrowhead designs

The first battery operated clock.  It would work if the correct battery could be produced.

In the rooms with carpet, each rug was woven in one piece from camel hair.  Each carpet has a particular motif that is repeated in the wall and ceiling decorations.

Pompeii room  all furnishing and reflect the customs of the culture   

Assyrian room--the lamps have flames to represent the practice of lowering the lights for cooking.  The walls are smudged to represent accumulated wood smoke.  The motifs reflect the warlike nature of the Assyrians.

Crystal room  

This huge carpet--35 ft square weighs a ton--literally.  A separate rail line had to be laid to the window on the left (not pictured), the window removed, and the carpet pushed and pulled into the room.

Each tiny tile of this floor was laid separately, all 

200+ feet of it down this hall!  Inlaid are Masonic motifs

I asked if this end of the hall was painted.  Our guide said yes and yes King Solomon would have used painted marble in his temple.

This meeting room was used as part of the temporary Guthrie courthouse While a new courthouse was being built.  Court was held behind the end wall.

If I understood correctly, this is original State Capitol Building.  The hall above is on the left in the background.

The theater is acoustically perfect.  A whisper on stage can be heard at the back.

Egyptian room

The Egyptians believed that a god lived in the moon. 

Attention to detail was included in the constellations represented in the ceiling.

The big dipper and Polaris

This oval is an optical illusion.  It appears to tilt to whichever side you are on.

These windows become 3-d when the light hits them right.  They represent the ages of man--youth, maturity, dotage.

The Harry Potter room  That's what the guide said kids call the library.  It does look a bit like the Hogwart's library.  These cases house many rare and valuable books including a first edition Mark Twain signed by the author.  Between the pillars are written wise sayings by famous people from throughout history.

This is Duane's favorite.

One of the many wonderful pieces of furniture

I said yesterday that we planned on visiting four places in Guthrie today, and we did.  Since this was the longest and most detailed, I will let it stand by itself.

Tomorrow you will see the other places we saw today.

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

I love looking at architecture of any building. And ceilings are my That Temple is beautiful. I love the Crystal room!

King Solomon is one of my favorite people in the Bible. To know he would have used painted marble in his temple is awesome. It is gorgeous.

I am with Duane on the saying. Amen!

What a fantastic tour. Thanks for sharing.