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Visit the Texas Heritage Trail Regions and see where it all happened

Turner Hall (now Scottish Rite Temple)

201 W. 18th St.

Scottish Rite Theater

Turner Hall, circa 1914.

The Scottish Rite Society built Turner Hall in 1872, and it served as a men's club and exercise facility (turnen means “to do physical exercises” in German). In 1914, the Ben Hur Temple bought the building with the intention of building a training center for its members. Shortly thereafter, the Scottish Rite Bodies of Austin decided it should build a "cathedral" on the site. It bought the Ben Hur Temple for $15,000 and, in 1915, the building was dedicated. With an auditorium seating 800, the building served to stage cultural events. A handsome pipe organ was installed, which served the Shriners of Austin for many years. The building is unique in that it blends the Southwest Mission style of architecture with Arabic accents. It is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

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