A Masonic lodge is seeking to build a new meeting place in north Charlotte, and the building layout has an unusual twist: It’s designed in the shape of a Masonry symbol.
Derita Masonic Lodge is seeking to rezone 4.4 acres along DeArmon Road, near Interstate 485 and Prosperity Church Road. The land is currently zoned for single-family residential use and is occupied by a house.
Under the lodge’s rezoning request, the land use would be changed to institutional, and a 5,600-square-foot building would be constructed on the site. The grounds would be laid out to reflect one of Masonry’s main symbols, a square and compass.
You can see the similarity in the building design (above, from the rezoning documents) and the symbol pictured here. Charlotte City Council will hold a hearing in the coming months and vote on the plan.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
So, what does the symbol actually mean? If you’re like me and not a Mason, you have to look online for that. Here’s the Wikipedia description: “The Square and Compasses (or, more correctly, a square and a set of compasses joined together) is the single most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry. Both the square and compasses are architect’s tools and are used in Masonic ritual as emblems to teach symbolic lessons. Some Lodges and rituals explain these symbols as lessons in conduct: for example, Duncan’s Masonic Monitor of 1866 explains them as: “The square, to square our actions; The compasses, to circumscribe and keep us within bounds with all mankind.” However, as Freemasonry is non-dogmatic, there is no general interpretation for these symbols (or any Masonic symbol) that is used by Freemasonry as a whole.”