History


 
1909 – The building opens as the home to the International Order of Masons.
 
1960 – Growth in the Masonic Order requires more space. A major addition brings the facility to 80,000 square feet and the building façade is modernized.
 
1988 – Kay Freurer, Executive Director of the Springfield Area Arts Council, recognizes the potential of the old Masonic Temple. A feasibility study is conducted on the facility’s use. At the time, taking this vision to reality is seemingly unattainable.
 
1999 – Mayor Karen Hasara forms a group to envision the direction of the city in the next 20 years. With direct input from citizens, the Springfield 2020 committee places a home for the arts in downtown Springfield at the top of its list, further strengthening the concepts already in place.
 
2001 – The International Order of Masons decide their needs no longer justify ownership of an 80,000 square foot facility, and they put the building for sale.
 
Through a generous gift by Carolyn Oxtoby and Stephen Bartholf, the Masonic Temple is purchased and the not-for-profit organization Springfield Arts Center, Inc begins the quest to transform the facility into the Center for the Arts. The Illinois Arts Council provides funding for architectural planning and consultation.
 
2002 – Recognizing the immense public benefit this project holds for the people of Springfield, the State of Illinois awards a grant of $5.5 million to begin the renovation.
 
January/February 2003 – Renovations begin on the building.
 
December 31, 2003 – The newly renovated Center for the Arts officially opens its doors to the 2004 First Night crowd.
 
2004 – The Hoogland name is added to the building in 2004 through a major contribution made by Charles and Kay Hoogland.