Renovated Masonic Lodge impresses Chamber group - Rome News-Tribune: News

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Renovated Masonic Lodge impresses Chamber group

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Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:00 am

“Unbelievable” may have been the word most frequently used Tuesday as Rome merchants and community leaders got a chance to see what three years of work accomplished at the historic Cherokee Lodge at 336 Broad St.

Dr. Matt Mumber and his wife Laura welcomed members of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce to the Business Before Hours program to show off the renovated Lodge building.

“There were unbelievable views up and down Broad Street,” said Heritage First Bank executive and former mayor Ronnie Wallace.

“I grew up here and I feel like I got to go into a place that was mysterious and exciting,” said Gail Johnson, director of continuing education at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

John Pillsbury, a retired Georgia Power executive, said the renovation was fantastic.

“Keeping all the artifacts and everything that was in there, the floors and all were nice. I’m proud of the fact that they’ve fixed it up as well as they have,” Pillsbury said.

A Rome oncologist, Mumber and his wife purchased the building for $610,000 in 2006 and have spent the last three years renovating the former lodge.

Now called The Cherokee Lodge-Historic Mason Building, the facility boasts a limited-use special events area, a third-floor apartment with spectacular views of downtown Rome and 6,000 feet of office space that could be used by a single client or multiple users. The office area includes a commons area kitchen. The offices are pre-wired for phone, Internet and cable.

Eleazar Romo served as the primary contractor for the renovation.

“This was my first big one,” Romo said. “I never thought it was going to be this big.”

The Masons occupied the building from 1876 through 2006 and virtually all of the flooring is original hardwood. Since leaving the downtown location, the Cherokee Lodge has built a new facility on the Alabama Highway.

The main lodge meeting room has been restored with some touch-up work to original Robert Redden murals on the walls. It features 16-foot stamped metal ceilings, arched windows and a complete kitchen with separate sitting room.

Hardy Realty of Rome is handling the marketing of the property.