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Masons of California

Freemasonry, or Masonry, is one of the world’s most famous and historic membership organizations, a 300-year-old worldwide fraternity whose members are committed to improving themselves and their communities. Freemasonry encompasses a series of moral teachings based on allegory and the symbolism of ancient stonemasonry. At its core, Freemasonry is about building deep friendships, personal development, and community service.
  • True Friendship: Many members meet their best friends through Freemasonry because Masonry offers a combination of shared traditions, a shared purpose, and a shared commitment to fostering lifelong relationships.
  • Personal Development: Ancient stonemasons built structures. Today’s Masons focus on building character. Masons are value-driven and strive to embody those values through action, relationships, and service to others.
  • Community Service: Masons take an obligation to support their fellow members and their communities. In California, this is illustrated by their commitment to the health and well-being of all members and their families, and through support of statewide public education and literacy programs.
Today, the Masons of California have more than 330 lodges and 40,000 members throughout the state. Learn more about Freemasonry in California here.

Related Entities

Since 1850, California Masonry has been governed and organized through the Grand Lodge of California, which in turn has established separate entities to further its goals and fulfill its mission. The Grand Lodge itself is made up of members of local lodges and professional staff.

Today, the Grand Lodge and its five entities are collectively referred to as the Masons of California. Upon their formation, the Grand Lodge assigned each new entity with a unique mission.

The Masonic Homes of California

Throughout California Freemasonry’s history, Masons have supported their fellow members and family members in need. In 1898, the Grand Lodge opened its first residential community to provide a home to and care for needy orphans and senior California Masons, as well as their wives or widows. In 1919, the Grand Lodge established the Masonic Homes of California to manage this new community.

Today, the Masonic Homes operates senior retirement communities on two campuses. The first, is a thriving community for the elderly, located on 305 acres in the hills of Union City overlooking the San Francisco Bay; and the second, an expansive, beautiful campus in Covina, just east of Los Angeles.

The Masonic Homes of California also provide a wide range of social services and care options to those living outside the residential campuses through its Masonic Outreach Services division. Additionally, the Masonic Center for Youth and Families provides mental health and wellness care to youth and their families, regardless of their Masonic affiliation, through their centers in San Francisco and Covina.

California Masonic Foundation

The California Masonic Foundation was formed in 1969 to advance the Grand Lodge’s charitable mission. The Foundation raises money from the fraternity for the benefit of the Masonic Homes of California, and public education. The Foundation’s philanthropic programs concentrate on youth and education, including support of public-school literacy programs and college scholarships. The Foundation has strong partnerships with the charitable foundations of four Major League Baseball teams in California, as well as the national literacy nonprofit Raising A Reader and several college success organizations. As of October 31, 2022, the California Masonic Foundation has a $38 million endowment.

Acacia Creek Retirement Community

The Acacia Creek Retirement Community opened in 2010 as a new independent- and assisted-living community on the Masonic Homes’ Union City campus to serve both Masons and the general public. Acacia Creek is comprised of 150 apartments and four cottage homes, and provides its residents with exceptional services and levels of care based on Masonic values and successful-aging principles.

The California Masonic Memorial Temple

The California Masonic Memorial Temple, or CMMT, is the headquarters of Freemasonry in California and also the name of the nonprofit that holds the title to the building and land on which it sits. The CMMT, located at 1111 California Street on San Francisco’s Nob Hill, opened in 1958 and stands as an icon of midcentury architecture. Designed by Albert Roller, the building includes an exterior frieze and 48-by-38-foot “endomosaic” mural by the artist Emile Norman. The temple includes a 3,000-seat auditorium (managed by the national concert promoters Live Nation); the Henry Wilson Coil Museum and Library of Freemasonry; Freemasons’ Hall, a meeting space for lodges; a five-level parking garage and the offices of the Grand Lodge of California. Learn more about the CMMT and its history here.

Nob Hill Masonic Center

The Nob Hill Masonic Center leases the five-story parking garage at 1111 California Street. It also leases the two-story parking garage at Grace Cathedral, located across the street at 1051 Taylor Street. The NHMC operates these two garages indirectly through a parking management agreement with SP Plus, a national parking garage operator.