Trenton Spotlight
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CRESCENT TEMPLE

  • 50 North Clinton Ave.
  • Trenton, NJ 08609
  • Artwork Creator: Walter Hankin, designer
  • Hours: n/a
  • Access: n/a
  • Sponsor/Project: n/a
  • Project Date: 1929

“Between the late 19th and mid 20th centuries, fraternal organizations played a major role in American society. Among the most powerful of the societies were the Shriners, who adopted an exotic Moorish / Orientalist symbol system to sustain their rites and practices. The architectural manifestations of this system are evident in the hundreds of mosque-like temples constructed for the Shriners throughout the United States between 1920 and 1950 . . . One . . . is the extraordinary Crescent Temple in Trenton, an outstanding example of its type, and a variation on the exuberant and eclectic entertainment architecture of the nation’s major cities—movie palaces, casinos, banquet halls, ballrooms and theaters . . . Designed by Philadelphia architect and movie house specialist Walter Hankin in 1929, Crescent Temple features decoration in local terra cotta, arch motifs, vast opulent spaces, and high quality modern construction with durable materials. The auditorium seats 3,000, and a banquet hall on the lower level seats 800.” – Preservation New Jersey

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