Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions
Based on the design of the Taj Mahal, the Tripoli Shrine Temple has been the home of The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a Freemasonic fraternal order for "men of good character," since 1928. The building is bursting with a hodgepodge of design flourishes, from camel sculptures to stars of David to vintage billiard tables. The architects for the building was designed by architects Clas and Shepard in the Moorish Revival style. It cost approximately $600,000 to build and was completed in 1928. The building is currently registered in the National Register of Historic Places.
In addition to meetings of the less-than-secret organization, the Tripoli Shrine Center serves as a rentable venue for events, dinners, and concerts. As part of their fundraising efforts, the Milwaukee Shriners host a circus once a year, as well as holiday events and weekly fish fries. Outside of the building are the Kneeling Camels (pictured below). This sculpture was commissioned and completed in 1928 for the cost of $10,000 (that was a large sum in that day!). These sculptures are popular with visitors who attempt to climb them to take a picture.
Though only officially open to the public on a few specific occasions, visitors can contact the Shriners to go on a free tour of the building, which focuses heavily on the history of the Freemason order in Milwaukee.
Header photo by Wikipedia user Sulfur.