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DMAC Architecture

Mount Moriah Masonic Temple

Address

1229 Emerson St.

Neighborhood

North Shore / Evanston / Rogers Park

Architect

Walter T. Bailey, 1929

Renovation

DMAC Architecture, 2019

Website

dmacarch.com

Description

DMAC Architecture is a full-service design studio with more than 25 years of experience in architecture, interior, product and furniture design, with work that spans a wide range of scales and typologies–including hotels, health and lifestyle clubs, spas, casinos, restaurants and bars. DMAC recently relocated to the former Mount Moriah Masonic Temple, a 1929 building designed by Walter T. Bailey, the first African American architect to receive a license in Illinois. For many decades, through the civil rights era and beyond, the building was a center of political, economic and social activity for Evanston’s African American community. In 2015, DMAC purchased the building, which was in need of a complete update. DMAC approached the renovation with sensitivity to the original design and neighborhood context. The formal limestone front is preserved with beautiful yellow brick details while the back of the building is activated as a “second façade” intended to be casual and engaging with the residential backyards and elevated Metra line. Many of the rear windows were infilled with brick weave to add visual interest and filter light. On the interior, the original herringbone parquet floor and a cast iron stairway are refinished as feature elements in the renovated space. The ground floor lobby is visible from the street through large glass windows, while the second floor houses DMAC Architecture’s studio.