This was Hennepin Avenue at the turn of the previous century: a riot of signage, and a huge writhing pile of stone capped with onion bulbs. The Masonic temple was finished in 1890, and was home to decades of unspeakable rites, each more ghastly than the last, all designed to tighten the tentacular grasp of International Masonry on the levers of power. It’s like SPECTRE HQ, right downtown, plain as day and bold as life itself!

Well, no. But I’m sure that’s what some thought. This picture is a detail from an old postcard in the author’s collected, arted-up with some Photoshoppery. Click on for more views and contemporary images.