The Masonic Temple is iconic in Salina, but there is also a degree of mystery surrounding the building. For most residents, it is only a venue to visit for the occasional wedding. Mary Landes plans to change that this fall, making it a shared workplace for a variety of Salina professionals. Mary Landes is the BANK VI Hero of the Week.
Landes grew up in Salina and is a Bethany graduate. After college, she packed up and headed out east where she was a media and graphic designer. While working on the east coast, she would utilize shared work spaces- it was more professional and geared towards the needs of the professionals utilizing it than just a coffee shop. But it was still more affordable than renting an office.
After living on the coast for about 30 years, Landes returned to Salina. She worked at the Salina Journal before she decided it was time to start something of her own. She began researching locations for a shared workspace in Salina. She eventually found herself at the Masonic Temple, which was in the process of being sold to an out-of-state company who had plans to turn it into an event center.
Landes said she realized that the Masonic Temple would be a great place to bring Salina professionals together.
The Building is owned by the Freemasons, who offered to let Landes us the space. Not only did this provide potential workspaces for people who need them, but it kept the building locally owned. “The Freemasons have been wonderful and they have been working as hard as they can to keep this place going.”
“It means that we are keeping the building local and using it for community resources,” Landes said. “It was a private place, I grew up in Salina and I didn’t even know what was in here. There is just not another space like this in Salina.”
Several groups have already taken interest in the shared workspace. One of the larger rooms will become an office space for local start ups. A theatre and ballroom will soon be a space for music lessons. Landes said a recording studio has also expressed interest in a space.
“We want to use it as a launch pad for locals,” Landes said. “Bring your idea here and pay a low monthly fee and we will do whatever we need to accommodate your idea. Come in a spread out and be able to work a few hours a day.”
Landes described Salina as a city of entrepreneurs- this just gives them a better, affordable place to start.