The Hoffner Masonic Lodge is in the heart of the business and entertainment district of Northside, and is one of the many historic treasures designed by Cincinnati architect, Samuel Hannaford. The building was erected in 1885 on land given by Jacob Hoffner to Lodge No. 253 which had been active in the community since 1854.
From the beginning, the spaces at street level were designed for community businesses with the second and third floors for Lodge members. When this photograph was taken, we can see, along the Hamilton Avenue façade, a Kroger store on the corner, a laundry at the opposite end of the building, and “Station A” (the first branch of the Cincinnati Post Office) in between. The Post Office remained a part of the community until 2011. The corner space was also the first home of the North Side Bank & Trust until they moved to their present location across the street in 1903.
When Masonic Lodge No. 253 moved to their new location, the building was purchased by Maureen Wood. She established the Maitri Center which became a well-known force in the Northside community. In 2010 the building was again sold and the current owner maintains the same commitment to keeping the Hoffner Lodge a beautiful landmark and an active participant in the dynamic life of Northside.