The Freemasons on the Continent of Europe have a prescribed form or ritual of building according to whose directions it is absolutely necessary that every hall for Masonic purposes shall be erected. No such regulation exists among the Fraternity of the United States of America or of Great Britain. Still, the usages of the Craft, and the objects of convenience in the administration of our Rites, require that certain general rules should be followed in the construction of a Lodge-room. These rules, as generally observed in the United States of America, are as follows:
A Lodge-room should always, if possible, be situated due East and West. This position is not absolutely necessary; and yet it is 60 far so as to demand that some sacrifice should be made, if possible, to obtain so desirable a position. It should also be isolated, where it is practicable, from all surrounding buildings, and should always be placed in an upper story. No Lodge should ever be held on the ground floor. The form of a Lodge-room should be that of a parallelogram or Oblong Square, at least one-third larger from East to West than it is from North to South. The ceiling should be lofty, to give dignity to the appearance of the hall, as well as for the purposes of health, by compensating, in some degree, for the inconvenience of closed windows, which necessarily will deteriorate the quality of the air in a very short time in a low room. The approaches to the Lodge-room from without should be angular, for, as Brother Oliver says, "A straight entrance is un-masonic, and cannot be tolerated."
There should be two entrances to the room, which should be situated in the West, and on each side of the Senior Warden's Station. The one on his right hand is for the introduction of visitors and members and leading from the Tiler's room, is called the Tiler's, or the outer door; the other, on his left, leading from the preparation room, is known as the inner door, and sometimes called the northwest door. The situation of these two doors, as well as the rooms with which they are connected, and which are essentially necessary in a well-constructed Lodge-room, may be seen from the diagram, which also exhibits the seats of the officers and the arrangement of the Altar and Lights. We have already mentioned that the arrangement of the room as here described is a common one but is by no means universal. This should be kept in mind. For further observations, see Hall, Masonic.
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