Historic Worthington Building at a Crossroads
In addition to being the founder of Worthington, James Kilbourne was also a Mason and the first master of New England Lodge. At the time of settlement, he and his colleagues needed a place to meet, so they built the structure at 634 High Street and for all these years it has been home to New England Lodge. In 1955, the Grand Lodge of Ohio, which is the state organization, needed a place for its administrative offices. Members of New England Lodge made a deal with the state organization to deed their property, which included the original building and the property next to it. At that time, the state organization also constructed an addition for its administrative offices while simultaneously converting the second floor to meeting room space for New England Lodge. The agreement stated that if the Grand Lodge ceased to use the building for its offices, the property would revert back to New England Lodge. In December 2012, that day finally arrived. The Grand Lodge moved its offices to Springfield, Ohio, and the deed transferred back to New England Lodge.
Since holding on to the property is currently not in the lodge's best interest, the property is for sale and available for development. The original building, which was completed in 1820 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the oldest structures in Worthington. Ideally, members of New England Lodge would prefer to continue meeting in the building, but they would also to see development that drives visitors to Worthington and brings workers to the city. A long-term lease agreement is another possibility.
"It's listed for sale, but we are open to all opportunities," says Mike Clevenger, lodge member and Worthington resident. "Right now the Lodge is interested in developing the property consistent with the community's needs."
For more information about the property, contact Mike Clevenger at 614.885.5494.