Our Latest Project: King Solomon's Lodge #1
The exterior of the building has not had a thorough restoration in many years. The cupola must be rebuilt, the siding restored, and many architectural and structural elements need attention.
The project is out for bid at this time, though estimates are currently at $250,000 to complete the project.
So far, the leadership at King Solomon's Lodge #1 and the New Bern Preservation Foundation as a team have applied to fifteen foundations and funds for resources, and have secured more than $75,000 in restoration funds toward the project.
We will keep you updated on progress through this web site and on Instagram and Facebook.
King Solomon’s Lodge #1 and the New Bern Preservation Foundation are partners in the historic restoration of the Lodge meeting place originally known as Drayton’s Hall.
The initial phase of the project is proceeding apace. Here you can see a group of windows nearing completion. They have a number of separate pieces that must be replicated from the original double-hung windows. The rest of Phase One will complete all aspects of exterior stabilization and restoration. So far our craftsmen have completed the new roof, restoration of the cupola, and are most of the way through the window restoration, Next will be replacement of siding and removal of the cinder block sheathing around the brick foundation.
A fire in 2005 caused extensive smoke and water damage to the structure. The structure was not flooded during Hurricane Florence, but the storm certainly highlighted the urgent need to do external repairs to keep out wind and rain.
Formed in 1865, King Solomon’s Lodge is the first African-American Masonic lodge in North Carolina and one of the first south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The current building, originally known as Drayton’s Hall, was completed in 1870. It has been continuously used as a Masonic lodge and meeting hall since it was built, and it is one of the very few structures north of Queen Street to survive the great fire of 1922.
Windows nearing completion
Most Recent Architect's Report
Installing the restored cupola on the gleaming new roof
Photo by Larry Rosenstrauch
Click below to donate to the KSL #1 Restoration Fund.
We could use your help...
All funds donated via this button go into the KSL #1 account, used to pay for this project. We use PayPal, which accepts all major credit cards. As you check out, you will have the option to just pay with any major credit card. Donations are welcome by mail as well, at P.O. Box 207 New Bern NC 28563.
You DO NOT NEED a PayPal account to donate by means of the button above.
Worshipful Master of King Solomon Lodge Frederick Smith has kept everyone focused on the significance of this effort. “King Solomon #1 is an icon of the history of the Colonial Capital of North Carolina,” said Smith. “The sole purpose of this important structure is to house the membership of a Master Mason Lodge, a Chapter of The Eastern Star as well as their young men, The Kop, and the young ladies, the Gleaners. Our vision of making good men and women better and cultivating young minds for the future is of the utmost importance.” The New Bern Preservation Foundation is providing experience in preservation to support this initiative.
“This is a vitally important historic structure not only to New Bern but to the entire state. Its architecture is important along with its historic and cultural significance.” said Tim Thompson, current President of the New Bern Preservation Foundation. “This is one of the few buildings in New Bern that we know was built by African American craftsmen and used by the African American community leaders who became state legislators and U. S. Congressmen.”
Illustrious black freemasons include Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Jesse Jackson, and Nelson Mandela, to name a few.
Photo by Larry Rosenstrauch