Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

8 people arrested in connection with burglary of Masonic Temple

Multiple people were arrested after a burglary in Downtown Lawrence.

September 14, 2009


Eight people were arrested Sunday night in connection with a burglary in Downtown Lawrence, according to Douglas County Jail records.

A police spokeswoman did not have information Monday about the burglary, which was reported at 1001 Massachusetts St.

The suspects were arrested around 8 p.m. for criminal trespass and various other charges, according to jail records.


maxcrabb 8 years, 9 months ago

Why would anything worth stealing be left in a building not used for a year?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they weren't there to burgle it? Did they have any incendiary materials with them?

q_ball2kand1 8 years, 9 months ago

Sheriff dept. website booking recap lists them as transients. At least one had drug charges. Too lazy to walk down to the river to smoke crack.

jimmyjms 8 years, 9 months ago

A year? DC is letting that place rot, and it's been unoccupied for a lot longer than one year.

d_prowess 8 years, 9 months ago

Has anyone ever asked the owner of this building what his plan is for it? It is such a great spot, but a very odd looking building...

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

it is a very awesome looking building and at an odd spot. go masonic temple!

dc needs to get this baby turned into a bar or restaurant, or maybe a hiphop venue like last call? that could be fun.

KansasVoter 8 years, 9 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says… "Maybe they weren't there to burgle it?"

Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such films as "They Came To Burgle Carnegie Hall" and "Here Comes The Coast Guard."

thebigspoon 8 years, 9 months ago

maxcrabb, fyi: burglary is unauthorized entry and theft is removal of material without owner's permission. Most burglaries involve theft, so it's hard to tell the difference sometimes. That's why they were charged with burglary; probably wasn't anything in their possession that was stolen. Like you, I can't imagine what might be valuable enough to steal. Hope this helps you understand.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

wow, with the jayhawk no-tell motel incident, it was a banner weekend for the homeless/bums in lawrence!

so, maybe the reason the Masonic Temple was hit was because of proximity to 2-1-4 club?

hate to travel far when you're an urban ranger.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 9 months ago

it'll be nice when all the theft and violence are moved to East Lawrence for awhile. yayyyy homelessness!

skinny 8 years, 9 months ago

See what happens when you cater to the homeless!!

The crime rate sky rockets!!!

We do not want a homeless shelter in Lawrence!!!

Mike Wagner 8 years, 9 months ago

Can't wait for the cold weather, they don't seem to want to hang around when it's freezing outside! Why can't we just make panhandling and loitering against the law and run the trash out of town. Then the shelter can help the local needy that are left. Most of the homeless in this town don't want to help them selves!!!

maxcrabb 8 years, 9 months ago

Thanks bigspoon. That clears it up a bit for me.

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

Turn it into what it looks like, a mausoleum. Probably make a ton of money off of it too. They can call it an "urban cemetery." The kooks in this town would eat it up. VERY smart growthesque. Who would want to put in an office/apartment/bank/business in a building that looks like a mausoleum anyway? The gigantic pillars have to stay because it has too much historic value. Gives me the creeps.

Another option for the homeless wet shelter possibly. At least they'd be nearer to the river.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 9 months ago

Last I understood, the Masons still owned it, but had some whacky preconditions about who could buy it and would not rent it. That was awhile back and things could have changed. It is a very cool building inside and would make a great music venue. Just take off the letters MA for Sonic Temple!

sjschlag 8 years, 9 months ago

The Masonic Temple would make an awesome restaurant or bar. Someone should turn it into an egyptian themed bar and call it "The Temple" or something cheesy like that.

Tom McCune 8 years, 9 months ago

I was in that building a few times many, many years ago and the interior was very cool, in an old-school kind of a way. It has a stage, a balcony, and (at least back then) had a pipe organ. The main floor was level (as I remember it), not sloped for banks of seats, like a movie theater.

You know what would work well in that building from a functional point of view? It is laid out almost perfectly for a dinner theater/ comedy club/ "cabaret" concert venue (with table-and-chair seating). The money might not "pencil out" given what it would cost to renovate, but if somebody had the moolah, it would be the coolest dinner theater/ comedy club in the Midwest. It would be cooler than most similar venues I have seen on the either of the coasts.

Compton/ Freemasons please remit my usual consulting fee to Newell_Post c/o the LJW. Thanks.

Tom McCune 8 years, 9 months ago

Maybe they have just been reading too many Dan Brown novels and were looking for the treasure of the Knights Templar or something like that.....

Joseph Jarvis 8 years, 9 months ago

Could LJW have done any worse reporting on this? You call that a story.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 9 months ago

How's the drainage around the Masonic Temple? Perhaps mario will vomit up a blog about that.....

Beth Ennis 8 years, 9 months ago

I heard very recently (can't remember who) that the problem with selling/renting that place is the asbestos. Remodeling will cost a ton because all the asbestos has to be removed and there is a lot of it. Probably ceiling tiles, floors, vents, etc. It's very sad. It has been empty since at least 2002 when I first came to town, so it's been vacant a very long time.

Beth Ennis 8 years, 9 months ago

BTW, Jesse, good idea about the dinner theater! I would love it if Lawrence had one. I hate having to go into KC area to go to one. (-:

Crystal Patterson 8 years, 9 months ago

Kansasvoter: awesome!

Something should be done with the Masonic Temple more than just a bar or club, it has too much character and history, and Lawrence has plenty of those. I do like the idea of a dinner theater.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 9 months ago

Find a Cool architect. Then make it a Tobacco shop. A pretentious and ecological tobacco shop. Take out the asbestos, and then take out bankruptcy three times.

Problem solved.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 9 months ago

I vote for "policeman stem." good name for the dinner theater/comedy club.

so, the bums broke in, and got poisoned by asbestos in the process.

Just how fast did the boys and girls in blue pull them outa the old asbestos temple?

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

Though a dinner theater sounds great, nobody would give them the business they'd need to pay the freight. It's sort of like a vegetarian restaurant or downtown grocer. We've been there, done that, and both went out of business.

The City needs to allow them to remove the ugly ass pillars on the front of the building, then it has some possibilities.

I think it would be cool if there was an aerial walkway connecting the temple to the old connex building. The northside bricked up area of the temple was constructed to allow for windows because big banker Watson back in the day figured he'd foreclose on the building within a few years of construction and he could move his Watkins Bank into the building. He made the masons brick it up that way before he'd loan them the money. The interior is all historic. The broken organ inside was the first organ made by the Reuter Organ Company and when they were assembling it, the owner of Reuter Organ decided to move his operations to Lawrence.

If the City allowed the pillars removal and the interior to be rehabbed, then there are some possibilities.

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

...I should've said the "first organ to be made in Lawrence by the Reuter Organ Company."

Tom McCune 8 years, 9 months ago


Newell_Post is not Jesse Newell. I got the screen name before his column had that name.....

KacieFaye 8 years, 9 months ago

I've heard the owner of the previous business, 'Mass Street Hookah,' talk of opening up a night club at the Masonic Temple. He talked about a glass roof and a VIP balcony. However, it wouldn't surprise me if he was on his 'high' horse while drafting up the plans.

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