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Temple History

Minneapolis Scottish Rite Temple

Minneapolis Scottish Rite Temple

A very brief history of the Minneapolis Scottish Rite Temple, a.k.a.: The Fowler Methodist Church

The building that now stands as the Minneapolis Valley Scottish Rite Temple, on Dupont and Franklin Avenues, originally the Fowler Methodist Church, was built in 1894 by one the late 19th Century’s most renowned ecclesiastical architects, Warren H. Hayes.

The church was named after the prominent Methodist leader, Bishop Fowler, who was also Grand Prelate, Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of the Minnesota. Evidence of Bishop Fowler’s Masonic ardor is still plainly obvious when touring the Temple today.

The building was expanded to a much larger structure, in 1906, to accommodate a rapidly growing congregation, and in June 1911, the members of the Fowler Methodist Church voted to sell the property to the Hennepin Avenue Church. A majority of the Fowler congregation merged with the Hennepin Avenue Church, and around this same time, Thomas B. Walker offered the still growing congregation a new site on the corner of Groveland and Lyndale Avenues, which became the new home of the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church.

On October 2, 1913, the members of Minneapolis Valley Scottish Rite voted unanimously to take over the Fowler Methodist Church property, beginning on January 1, 1915. Additional alterations were made to the newer structure in order to meet the needs of the four bodies of the Scottish Rite Masons, including a billiards room, large banquet hall, and numerous other meeting rooms. The original Fowler Church auditorium still stands, in what is now the Red Room of the Minneapolis Scottish Rite Temple.

- Noah S. Bucher