Turner Hall

W 18th St Austin

Texas Historical Commission
Written By Texas Historical Commission

We save the real places that tell the real stories of Texas.

This building has a history that dates to 1872, when the Scottish Rite Society built Turner Hall.

It served as a men's club and exercise facility (turnen = to do physical exercises, in German). In 1914, the Ben Hur Temple bought the building with the intention of building a training center for its members.

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Shortly thereafter, the Scottish Rite bodies of Austin decided that they should build a "cathedral" on the site. They bought the Ben Hur Temple for $15,000 and in 1915 the building was dedicated.

The building served to state cultural events with an auditorium seating 800.

A handsome pipe organ was installed, and it served the Shriners of Austin for many years. It is now the Austin Scottish Rite Theatre, specializing in children's productions.

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