In 1906, the Abou Ben Adhem Shriners voted to construct an auditorium to serve as their home in Springfield. The land was purchased from the Frank Herman Saddlery Company, and with the help of the community, construction of The Shrine Mosque began. The cost of construction in 1920 was $600,000 — equivalent to over $8.5 million today!
To say construction was a vast undertaking would be an understatement. At the time it was built, The Shrine Mosque was the largest auditorium west of the Mississippi. With incredible red brick walls and gorgeous terracotta polychrome turrets, the auditorium was unlike anything most Springfield residents had ever seen.
Springfield architects Heckenlively and Mark gave The Shrine Mosque its unique design in a Saracen style. Two stained glass windows depicting a camel caravan adorn the auditorium, both designed by Stanley Uthwatt. The interior also features a Saracen design and continues to awe visitors to this day.
The Shrine Mosque auditorium can seat up to 3,200 people, and the lower event area can hold an additional 1,300 visitors. As Springfield’s most recognizable venue, The Shrine Mosque has hosted countless community events, including circuses, war bond drives, revivals, and even presidential visits, including President Truman, Roosevelt, and Reagan!
A massive array of artists and musicians have also entertained crowds at The Shrine Mosque. International stars like Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Foghat, and Steely Dan have drawn crowds to the auditorium. Even Elvis Presley played the Mosque in 1956!
To this day, The Shrine Mosque continues to attract the biggest and most exciting artists to the Springfield area.
Today, The Shrine Mosque continues to host incredible events for our community. Experience a critical piece of Springfield’s history and visit The Shrine Mosque for one of our upcoming events. For information on hosting your next event at The Shrine Mosque, contact our team at 417-869-9164.