Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Mason's Hall

Mason's Hall

Mason's Hall
Virginia Department of Historic Resources


Standing aloof from the bustle of the surrounding restaurants, shops, and warehouses of Richmond’s Shockoe Valley, Mason’s Hall is the oldest Masonic Hall in continuous use in the country. The building was completed in 1787 for Richmond Lodge Number 13 of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.  James Mercer, Grand Master, laid the cornerstone with the assistance of Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia and a mason himself. Shortly thereafter, the citizens of Richmond met in the hall to instruct their delegates to the Constitutional Convention.  Edmund Randolph and John Marshall belonged to what was originally Lodge Number 13, and the masons elected both of them to be Grand Masters of Masonry. The Marquis de Lafayette was made an honorary member when he visited the hall in 1824. The building served as a hospital during the War of 1812. When Federal troops entered Richmond in 1865, a Union General, who was a mason, posted a guard at the building to prevent it from being burned.

The late-Georgian, weatherboarded building, capped by a jaunty cupola, was remodeled in the mid-19th century when much of its exterior trim was replaced by Greek Revival work. The façade is distinguished by a slightly projecting pedimented pavilion with a dwarf portico. The interior has a remarkable set of rooms decked out in Masonic architectural and decorative paraphernalia on all three floors, all relating to the various Masonic rituals Much of the fabric is original. The building is now the home of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19.

Plan your visit
Mason’s Hall is located at 1807 E. Franklin St. The exterior is visually accessible at all times. The interior is visible to the public only during rare special tours. Private tours can be scheduled through Mason’s Hall 1785, a charitable foundation asssisting in renovation and preservation of the Hall. Mason's Hall as been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.
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