The area home for Freemasonry, a worldwide fraternal organization, many Masonic groups use the downtown building, including a boys group called DeMolay, several lodges (Charleston 153 and Kanawha 20), the Royal Arch Masons and the Knights Templar.
The exterior is white terra cotta. Throughout the interior, the emblem of the Freemasons is worked into the décor. All of the interior brass doorknobs sport the iconic symbol incorporating the stonemasons' tools and implements - the square and the compass.
A dining hall, used by the Masons, is available for rent to tenants and other groups. With a large, commercial-grade kitchen, the hall seats 350 in an elegant setting complete with dark-stained wooden columns and a bank of windows facing the Kanawha River.
There are portraits of past Masonic leaders that read like a who's who of West Virginia history, including former federal judge George Warwick McClintick and William Shaw Summers.
On the top floor of the building, there's a grand Masonic meeting room with arched stained-glass windows, a frescoed ceiling and deeply carved woodwork. Burgundy-covered velvet pews line the sides of the room, as well as a balcony seating area.
Upkeep is always an issue with an older building, Thomas said.
"One hundred percent of the building's revenue goes into renovations," Thomas said.
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.