The historic Masonic Temple in Orange, New Jersey, burned down two months ago. A century-old collection of Freemason artifacts was lost in the fire. Only one member of Union Lodge 11 — an 86-year-old man — is alive, and he couldn’t remember what was stowed within the walls. The origins of Freemasonry are somewhat esoteric, rooted in the belief that masonry is a sacred undertaking. It has sparked a debate about whom those objects belong to and the limits of architectural salvage.

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