Masonic Temple – Seneca

Year(s) Listed:
Location Class:
Built: 1917 | Abandoned: N/A
Status: Saved
Contributor: Kansas Preservation Alliance

Nemaha County Temple of Honor UPDATE!!

January 2015

Working as a team with faculty advisors, members of the Nemaha County Historical Society, and a representative from the Kansas Preservation Alliance, an interdisciplinary group of eleven Kansas State University students have recently completed a unique undergraduate research project.  The students investigated the Nemaha County Temple of Honor in Seneca, Kansas and produced preliminary drawings and narratives of proposed preservation improvements, along with some recommended priorities and cost information.  The information was developed by the team to provide technical background for current and future grant requests by the Nemaha County Historical Society and for future design and construction efforts to be performed by qualified professionals.

Students included Daniel Weisenberger (coordinator), John Gaito, Caroline Kabus, and Breanna Robertson from Architectural Engineering; Greg Anderson, Ross Henry, Ismael Hernandez, and Robert Lee from Construction Science; Jan Simkhada from Architecture; Richard Prudenti from Landscape Architecture; and Sarah Jackson from Interior Design.  The students worked with DarlAnn Rial and Robert Ackerman from the Nemaha County Historical Society and Mel Borst from the Kansas Preservation Alliance.  The team was assembled and coordinated by Ray Yunk, Department Head, Architectural Engineering and Construction Science.  Faculty advisors were Chris Ahern, Ray Buyle, Fred Hasler, and Russ Murdock from Architectural Engineering and Construction Science; Todd Gabbard from Architecture, Lee Skabelund from Landscape Architecture, Barbara Anderson from Interior Design.

August 2014

Major work will begin August 18th to restore the original roof line of the Temple building. The project will be paid for with local funds and when completed, allow the building to be eligible for possible future historic restoration grants.  With that in mind, the Nemaha County Historic Society is preparing a preliminary grant application for the restoration of the front portico and steps. Progress is being made to involve college age students to assist in the planning of this and possibly other upcoming Temple building repair and improvement projects.

On the grounds, an outdoor name sign and large flag pole are needed and word has gone out to community organizations for assistance. The M 7 Priest 105 mm Howitzer (often called ‘the tank’) and the 1864 Ordnance rifle (cannon) have been in place since early spring on the lawn.

Inside the building, the basement restrooms are operational. Electrical outlets have been installed at floor level on the North and South walls of the main museum hall. These of course have been wired into the new service entrance installed last year. More electrical work will take place as   needs are determined.   A small military library has been started in the NW entrance of the building.  This has provided more useful space for research.  A jewelry case purchased from Macy’s closeout will display military medals and awards in locked compartments.  The Nemaha County Historical Board invites the public to visit.

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