Masonic Home of Washington
Completed in 1927, The Masonic Home of Washington was the first retirement community in Des Moines built in the Zenith neighborhood.
The property also includes a park and a wooded area, east of the main building. Some of this area was used for other Freemason events over the years.
The site has an extensive view of the South Puget Sound area with views of Murray Island, Vashon Island, and Commencement Bay (Tacoma). The Hilltop section of Tacoma is visible from the site. On a clear day, you can see the top towers of the Tacoma's Narrows Bridges as well.
Also visible from the location, was the ASARCO smokestack. The emissions from the stack could have been dropped onto the property since it's 100 year operation. No soil tests are know on the property at this time.
The Masonic Home site was also known as Landmarc on the Sound (when purchased). It is visible from the Puget Sound and can be seen from Point Ruston (former ASARCO site) on a clear day.
Masonic Home Site Today
About 2005, the property was sold to new developers to create a new retirement community. While model homes were built, the affects of the 2009 recession didn't get the project off the ground. The original building was converted into an event center for weddings and other meetings. It's deterioration (around 2016) put the building up for sale.
According to the City of Des Moines, a proposal has been submitted to the city to redevelop the property into a retirement community. It is unclear if the original building will still stand at this time.
Based on the video recorded in September 2019, the building wasn't approved for occupation (with a chain link fence around the building.
The trails and open area in the front of the building are used by the public for jogging and exercise.
When the Freemasons owned the property, the pond (that is now emptied) contained goldfish that survived the pollution that was in the air.
The building has never been declared a historical monument. The building did survive several earthquakes including the 1965 quake when the city of Des Moines was the epicenter. The building was in use when the Nisqually Quake happened in 2001. There were no reports of damage to the building during the quake.