Shrine Mosque will be renovated for about $1.3 million - US

Shrine Mosque will be renovated for about $1.3 million - US
(Wednesday, February 17, 2016) 15:29

The Shrine Mosque has been an iconic part of the Springfield skyscape for more than 90 years, but the building's age is catching up to it.

The Shriners are beginning a structural renovation to the mosque that will cost about $1.3 million. The project will take at least a couple of years.  In the meantime, the mosque will still schedule the same quality entertainment that it always has.

Since 1923 the Shrine Mosque has showcased everything from U.S. presidents to music royalty.

"We had presidents on there, we had the king of Rock 'N' Roll, we had all sorts of amazing performers up there," said trustee Douglas Pitts.

At 91 years old, the building needs a face lift.

"The necessity was, to stay in this building, we were going to have to undergo this major renovation; you're probably looking at $1 million to $1.5 million to fully do it," said Pitts.

Pitts says the building will keep its unique features.

"It is such a unique building with the Moroccan flavor and the turrets and all this other stuff.  It really adds to the character of downtown; it adds to the uniqueness that is Springfield," said Pitts.

While the construction is going on, it will continue to serve as one of Springfield's most iconic entertainment venues.

"You're hard pressed to find somebody that has lived around here for any amount of time that doesn't say, 'I remember my father' -- or uncle or whatever -- 'taking me down to the fights,' or 'taking me down to the circus or taking me to this,'" said Pitts.

The $1.3 million renovation will just cover the outside of the building.  When it's finished, the Shriners will begin working toward renovating the inside.

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