Tripoli Shrine Temple
The Tripoli Shrine Temple on Wisconsin Avenue is one of the most unique buildings in all of Milwaukee. Built in 1928 with a design heavily based off the Taj Mahal in India, the Tripoli Shrine Temple at first glance resembles an Islamic Mosque. Many academics at the nearby Marquette University or the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have actually mistaken the Temple for a mosque. Nevertheless, the Tripoli Temple is not, in fact, a religious building, and it serves the public as well as headquartering and housing Milwaukee’s Shriners International, an appendant body of Freemasons that has been around since its founding in 1870 in New York City. Nowadays, the Tripoli Temple is still active and it has 31 official units, seven of which are based outside of Milwaukee. The Tripoli Temple was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Backstory and Context
Historical Background of the Temple
With its bullish domes, vertical arched recesses, and a three-bay entrance pavilion, the Tripoli Temple is a unique piece of architecture that gives the 3000 block of Wisconsin Avenue a stunning, almost Eastern vista. To understand the construction as well as the function of the Temple, however, it is important to understand Shriners International.
Previously known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic
The Tripoli Shrine
Without the current building, the organization met at the Masonic Temple located on North Plankinton, and later at another
The location of the current temple at 3000 Wisconsin Avenue was designed by the firm