Temple Gallery is a leading dealer gallery and apartment complex in an impressive historic building. Situated in the heart of Dunedin at 29 Moray Place, the Temple started its life in 1864 as a Jewish synagogue, the southernmost in the world and now the oldest such building in New Zealand. For 111 years, from 1881 to 1992, it was a Masonic Hall, the meeting place of several Dunedin Lodges and the largest Freemasons’ Temple in southern New Zealand. In 1992 it was acquired by Peter Duncan and Victoria Timpany who have thoughtfully retrofitted it as apartments and a fine art dealer gallery.
In its long history there have been changes and additions but the building’s main historical features are still clearly legible. The synagogue’s sanctuary wasn’t greatly changed by the Masons whose ceremonies and symbols had much in common with Jewish ones. The extensions built by the Masons feature stained glass windows with hexagrams, or Stars of David, set like jewels in their metalwork frames. The inner sanctuary retains the impressive Jewish Ark or Hekhál, though redecorated with symbols of the Freemasons’ “Craft” such as the All Seeing Eye.