Arts & Culture
2:41 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Jack White is the mysterious donor who saved Detroit's Masonic Temple

Jack White, in April of 2012
Credit Jack White / Facebook

The Detroit Masonic Temple Association President Roger Sobran announced on Tuesday that the musician Jack White donated $142,000 to the Temple and saved it from foreclosure.

"We are proud to announce that Jack White is the anonymous person who paid the outstanding taxes for the Detroit Masonic Temple," the Temple released in a statement on its Facebook page

Jack White is most well known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of The White Stripes. White went to school at Cass Technical High School in Detroit and his mother was an usher at the Temple.

The President also announced that one of the theaters at the Temple, the Cathedral Theater, will be renamed the 'Jack White Theater.' 

This is the former Cathedral Theater, now the Jack White Theater. It has a capacity for 1,586 people.
Credit The Detroit Masonic Temple / Facebook

John Gallagher, of the Detroit Free Press, wrote that Ben Blackwell, who is White's nephew and is also the archivist for the White Stripes explained White's ties to the Temple:

The White Stripes played their first public show, an opening gig for the Hentchmen in 1997, at the  Gold Dollar, a now-defunct Cass Corridor club just down the street from the Masonic.

About six years later, the band was at the height of its acclaim, playing two sold-out shows at the Masonic, one in the smaller Scottish Rite, the other at the venue's main theater.

"What really puts it all in context were those two White Stripes performances in April 2003 -- two consecutive nights, one in the small room, the other in the big room," said Blackwell. "From the loading docks you could see the Gold Dollar. It took years, four albums, and how ever many of tour miles to go that very significant half a block."

The news release from the Masonic Temple also added that Jack White and his mother both "share a profound love for the gothic structure."

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom