The Cox Building, Never a Masonic Temple?
Recently, the City of Maysville Kentucky bought the Cox Bulding on the corner of Market and Third Streets downtown so they could keep it from falling into disrepair and possibly use it for city offices, tourism, etc, although no concrete plans are in place. Reportedly, they paid $200,000 for the landmark historical building.
Also known as the Masonic Lodge, it was built in 1886 by former Kentucky Lt. Governor, William H. Cox. Cincinnati architects, Craspey & Brown, were contracted to construct this building as well as the old Maysville High School. It was built in the Queen Anne Style, which was popular in the late 1800s and was marked by fine brickwork, tile-hung upper stories, corner towers, and deeply shadowed entrances among other features. It was built out of pressed brick and red Bedford stone trim. Some of the cooler features of the structure include an upper floor ballroom with a beautiful chandelier, gargoyles adorning the roof, and the incredible stained glass work on the front of the building. Scattered throughout the structure are the All Seeing Eye, Hammer, Hour Glass of Time, and the Red Cross built into the turret's tiling. These are all symbols of the Masons. Interestingly, the Red Cross on the front turret doesn't appear in older photographs of the building, indicating that it was added at a later time. It is believed to have cost $100,000 to build.
Throughout it's history it has held many different businesses including the old post office and Kilgus Pharmacy, which was a popular hangout for teenagers when it was in business.
Very interestingly, however, is that according to legend, it was never actually used for the purpose it was designed for, that is, being a meeting place for the Masons. According to some local historians, Mr. Cox built the building as a gift for the Masons if they promised to vote his son into the Masonic Order. Apparently, there was a falling out and Mr. Cox's son was not considered worthy enough to become a Mason, and so the building was never given to them.