Owners of world's largest Masonic temple seek bankruptcy protection

July 3, 2013 at 3:28 PM

DETROIT, July 3 (UPI) -- The owners of Detroit's 90-year-old Masonic Temple, the largest such building in the world, have filed for bankruptcy.

In a Chapter 11 filing Sunday in Macomb County Circuit Court, the Detroit Masonic Temple Theatre Co. listed no more than $50,000 in assets and said it owes between $100,000 and $500,000, The Detroit News reported. Last month, Jack White, a Detroit-born singer-songwriter, contributed money to pay back taxes owed Wayne County, which had threatened to put the building up for auction.

Construction began on the temple in 1922, with the cornerstone laid using the same trowel George Washington, a Mason, used for the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. The temple, with 1,037 rooms, was completed in 1926 and the theater for decades was used for graduations, concerts and other large events.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Last year, DTE Energy threatened to cut off utilities because of unpaid bills. The owners have also been sued by Planet Stage, a production company that says it is owed $81,000 in ticket receipts from a concert last November.

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