The Moolah Temple (1110,000 square foot structure), built in 1913 with Arabic and Moorish design, was the original home of the Shriners. Today the Moolah consists of a 400 seat movie theater (home of the largest screen in St. Louis), 42 luxury lofts/apartments and a retro-style bowling alley. It includes a lounge (full bar and lounge space) and grill (offering appetizers.
The building was vacant since the 1980’s when the Shriners moved to their current location. Work began in December, 2003 by Restoration St. Louis. The rehab focused on restoring the exterior and interior’s vibrant colors and architecture of the Moolah design.
Western Specialty Contractors’ work consisted of the exterior masonry restoration of all elevations. Work was performed from suspended swing stages, scissors lifts and aerial lifts.
Masonry restoration included cleaning 20,000 s.f. of brick, terra cotta and stone facade, tuckpointing 8,000 s.f. of brick masonry, along with all terra cotta and stone joints. Damaged limestone and terra cotta was repaired and some new limestone pieces were installed.
Along with the masonry restoration, some existing window openings were bricked in and more than 50 new window openings were required in what was originally a solid full brick thick wall. At these new window locations, steel lintels/beams were first installed, and then the demolition of the brick walls followed, with the toothing in of the brick jambs and installation of new limestone sills.
Restoration St. Louis celebrated the Moolah grand opening on January 20, 2005.