Secrets of an Abandoned Masonic Temple

A century-old masonic temple sits abandoned and heavily decaying. Decades since the departure of the Masons, the walls and ceilings of the ornate halls slowly fall in upon themselves and the many artifacts that remain.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

North of Akron, Ohio, home of the abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium and Rolling Acres Dead Mall, the city of Cleveland holds a treasure trove of forgotten structures with stories to tell. Among them is Newburgh Masonic Temple, the once grand meeting place of Ashlar Lodge.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Designed by Cleveland architect William J. Carter, construction of Newburgh Masonic Temple began in 1916. The structure was completed in 1917 at a cost of approximately $65,000 ($1.2 million in 2017 dollars) and the first meeting of the newly formed Ashlar Lodge took place there on May 31.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

The site served as the home of Ashlar Lodge for a half-century. In 1969 the Masons decided to sell Newburgh Masonic Temple due to increasing maintenance costs and a lack of secure parking in the area.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

It is unclear who occupied the building after the departure of the Freemasons, but it appears to have seen some use. A calendar from 1984 still hung on an office wall.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

The structure now has extensive water damage on every floor. Layers of paint and plaster have fallen away revealing the underlying brick, which appears structurally sound (at least to my untrained eyes).

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

The temple has many interesting design features not often seen in modern buildings, including crown moulding, half doors, a dumbwaiter,

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

arched doorways,

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

two oddly-placed staircases that pass alongside one another,

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

 and wooden bench seating lining the walls of the massive meeting halls. 

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Much of the sturdy wooden furniture and cabinetry remain intact and have held up well over time.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

A china hutch in the basement still contains stacks of plates and dishes, which surprisingly haven't been smashed by vandals.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Two large rusting safes remain in an office. Their doors have been removed and the documents they once protected are scattered throughout the room.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

A dusty roll of toilet paper still hangs in the bathroom.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

One of the upper floors contains a flock of rubber duckies of unknown origin.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

The future of Newburgh Masonic Temple remains uncertain. There do not seem to be any plans for future use or demolition.

Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

Thank you for checking out this article. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Facebook.

To receive an email announcement when I post my next article, please subscribe to Places That Were

Until then, click here to read about other incredible abandoned places I've explored.

To see more pictures, please follow these links and subscribe to my feeds:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/placesthatwere

Instagram: http://instagram.com/theplacesthatwere

Twitter: https://twitter.com/placesthatwere/

Tumblr: http://placesthatwere.tumblr.com/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JimSullivanPlacesThatWere/posts

EyeEm: https://www.eyeem.com/u/placesthatwere

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/jimplicit

Thank you!


Abandoned Newburgh Masonic Temple in Cleveland Ohio

The Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium of Akron, Ohio

Rubber Bowl Stadium of Akron, Ohio hosted crowds of cheering football fans and concert goers for nearly seven decades. Made obsolete by the newly built InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field in 2009, the Rubber Bowl now sits empty and rapidly decaying from age and vandalism.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

A short distance from the site of Rolling Acres Dead Mall, Rubber Bowl Stadium is another of Akron, Ohio's infamous abandoned places. Situated on a large swath of land shared with Akron Fulton International Airport and Derby Downs, the beloved home of the All American Soap Box Derby, the stadium awaits its inevitable demise.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

The Rubber Bowl is in very bad condition. The deserted structures along its perimeter are crumbling, their floors covered by rubble from collapsing ceilings.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Most of the stadium seating has been removed.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Much of it lies in heaps along the bottom of the spectator area.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

The dark passageways beneath the stadium are choked with twisted metal benches and other detritus.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

The Rubber Bowl was built in 1940 as the home field of the University of Akron's football team, the Akron Zips. It was named in honor of the tire industry, which was so prominent at the time that Akron was considered the Rubber Capital of the World.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

The stadium was built by the Works Progress Administration, a federal program that provided hope and opportunity during the Great Depression by creating jobs and livable wages for 8.5 million people.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

The Akron Zips played a total of 324 games at Rubber Bowl stadium, the first of which occurred on October 5, 1940. Several professional football games and about 1,500 high school football games were also played there.

The original grass field was replaced by Astroturf in 1983. In 2003, the turf was upgraded to AstroPlay, which is still in relatively good condition.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

With a seating capacity of 35,202, the stadium served as a venue for concerts, circuses and other events. Over the years quite a few legendary musical acts performed at the Rubber Bowl, including The Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Three Dog Night, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, and Ringo Starr.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

November 13, 2008 marked the Zips' final game at the Rubber Bowl. Facing off against the Buffalo Bulls, the game was televised on ESPN and went into an incredible four overtimes. Sadly, the Zips lost in what was the team's first overtime loss and their first four-overtime game in school history.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

With the completion of InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field in 2009, the Rubber Bowl's time came to an end. The new stadium is located on the University of Akron campus, which means that students no longer have to travel half a dozen miles to the Rubber Bowl to attend games and practices.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

In 2013, Team1 Marketing Group purchased the Rubber Bowl with plans to make it the home of a United States Football League team called the Akron Fire. Six months later, the league decided not to include an Akron-based team.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Team1 modified their plans, hoping to build a dome over the stadium and transform it into a multi-use entertainment venue. The first event, a hip hop festival called LOUD-Fest, was scheduled to take place in May 2015, but moved to another location after concerns were raised about the deteriorated condition of the Rubber Bowl.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Plagued by zoning complications, financing difficulties, and a high tax burden, Team1 announced in late August 2017 that it would sign the property over to the Summit County Land Bank. The Rubber Bowl's future remains uncertain.

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Thank you for checking out this article. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Facebook.

From Akron, I headed north to Cleveland to see the unique ruins of Newburgh Masonic Temple. Click here to explore it with me.

To receive an email announcement when I post future articles, please subscribe to Places That Were

Click here to read about other awesome abandoned places I've explored.

To see more pictures, please follow these links and subscribe to my feeds:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/placesthatwere

Instagram: http://instagram.com/theplacesthatwere

Twitter: https://twitter.com/placesthatwere/

Tumblr: http://placesthatwere.tumblr.com/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JimSullivanPlacesThatWere/posts

EyeEm: https://www.eyeem.com/u/placesthatwere

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/jimplicit

Thank you!

Abandoned Rubber Bowl Stadium in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall - A Retail Graveyard

Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio was once a gleaming modern retail space bustling with life. Few would have foreseen the desolate symbol of urban decay it would become only a few decades after it opened.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

After exploring the overgrown ruins of an abandoned greenhouse complex, I continued east to Akron, home of Rolling Acres dead mall, easily one of the most interesting places I've ever explored.

My heart raced as I crossed the sprawling parking lot marred by deep potholes and fissures toward the vast abandoned structure. The grounds were empty except for a few guys zipping around on motorcycles. Apparently the local law enforcement didn't mind them using the abandoned lot as a racetrack because they kept scrappers and vandals away.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

The ornate facades of anchor stores had fallen into severe disrepair.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Weeds crept up around the sealed entrances. 

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Created by Forest City Enterprises, a property management firm based in Cleveland, Rolling Acres Mall opened in the summer of 1975. Originally consisting of 21 stores including Sears as its anchor, the mall rapidly expanded in its early years. The number of stores more than doubled and two more anchor stores were added. An aquarium was also built, but removed not long after (Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any historic photos of the aquarium. If you have any, I would love to see them!).

1978 saw the addition of the second story Promenade as well as another anchor store...

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

and a food court.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

By the end of the decade, a three-screen movie theater was also added.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Rolling Acres was a phenomenon in its day, with a state of the art glass elevator

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

and a variety of indoor plants.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

At the time of my visit, the mall had already been decimated by water damage, graffiti and vandalism. Still it wasn't difficult to imagine how grand Rolling Acres must have been in its prime. Huge geometric skylights angled up from the roof allowing plenty of natural light to spill in.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

At the junction of its main corridors stood a large geometric sculpture and water fountain.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Over the years several of the anchor stores underwent changes. Montgomery Ward was replaced by Higbee's, which later became Dillard's. O'Neil's merged with May Company Ohio and later became Kaufmann's.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Target joined as the fifth anchor store in 1995, bringing the total number of retailers in Rolling Acres Mall to 140.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

The late '90s were a rough time for Rolling Acres. The mall developed a reputation as being unsafe and had trouble competing with the nearby Summit and Chapel Hill malls, which had recently undergone renovations and were located near more affluent areas.

Stores began to close and several of the anchors downgraded to outlet stores.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Target became the first anchor store to leave when it moved to a new location several miles away in 2006. Dillard's closed later that year.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

The mall was in such a state of decline that a 26-year-old man lived in a vacant store for several weeks before he was noticed and arrested.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Macy's closed in March of 2008 and the movie theater, which had already closed and reopened several times, shut its doors for good in August. 

In October of 2008, electricity to the mall was cut off due to unpaid energy bills and the few remaining businesses had to leave. 

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Sears and JCPenney, the last two anchor stores, were not affected and continued to operate for several years after the mall went out of business. Sears finally closed in 2011. The following year, its former space was acquired by Pinnacle Recycling.

JC Penny's 5-Star Outlet was the only retail tenant until it too closed in December 2013. The building stood vacant until 2016, when JC Penney signed it over to the City of Akron. Storage companies now occupy two of the other former anchor stores. 

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Since the mall closed in 2008, many of the skylights were smashed, letting in massive amounts of snow and rain. Structures tend to decay pretty quickly once the roof starts leaking. At the time of my visit in 2015, water damage was noticeable everywhere and in many areas the floors were still wet from the last time it rained. The layer of carpet and fallen ceiling tiles on the floor of the old cinema were so waterlogged that walking across it felt like stepping on wet sponges. 

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Rolling Acres continued to gain notoriety after it became a dead mall. In April 2011 a man attempting to steal copper wire was electrocuted when he accidentally tapped into a live wire. 

In November 2011 The body of Timothy Kern was discovered in the woods behind the mall. His death was later linked to the infamous Craigslist killer.

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

Rolling Acres was a fascinating place to explore. I was fortunate to have been granted access. After years of decay, the mall structure was demolished in early 2017, though the former anchor stores still stand. 

Abandoned Rolling Acres Dead Mall in Akron Ohio

A short distance from Rolling Acres is another of Akron's amazing abandoned places, Rubber Bowl Stadium. Click here for the full article.

Thank you for checking out this article. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Facebook.

To receive an email announcement when I post new articles, please subscribe to Places That Were

Click here to read about other awesome abandoned places I've explored.

I have way more pictures of Rolling Acres dead mall than I could include in this article, but I will be sharing them on social media, so feel free to follow these links and subscribe to my feeds:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/placesthatwere

Instagram: http://instagram.com/theplacesthatwere

Twitter: https://twitter.com/placesthatwere/

Tumblr: http://placesthatwere.tumblr.com/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JimSullivanPlacesThatWere/posts

EyeEm: https://www.eyeem.com/u/placesthatwere

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/jimplicit

Thank you!