In September 2013, downtown Plainfield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Plainfield is one of only 15 downtowns in the State of Illinois on the National Register.
The National Register District in Plainfield extends along both sides of Lockport Street between Route 59 on the east to James Street and Main Street on the west. The entire historic area includes 53 properties.
Within the historic district, a variety of old buildings, some dating back to the 1840s, showcase different architectural styles, including Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque and International.
The four-block section consists of the historic commercial and civic core of the village and includes notable buildings, such as the Clock Town Building, the Plymouth Congregational Church and the Masonic Lodge.
The history of the Masonic Fraternal Lodge in Plainfield can be traced back to October 1867 when it was chartered.
In 1891, the Masonic building burned, and this left the Masons without a meeting place. Plans immediately were made to build a new building and two lots were bought on the northeast corner of Lockport and Des Plaines Streets.
Constructed in 1892, Masonic Lodge 536 was designed by architect J.E. Minott, and built by the Aurora firm of Hall and Doane.
The two-story building, occupying two lots, was built in the Queen Anne style. The distinctive corner of the building is marked with a decorative pressed metal turret window, four double hung windows and capped with a unique onion-shaped corner dome.
The highly ornamented cornice runs along the entire south and west elevation of the building. A pedimented peak is situated above the arched window on the south side of the building. Within the pediment is a nameplate inscribed with “Masonic Block.”
Storefronts face Lockport Street and were occupied at various times by different business concerns, including grocery, restaurant, and a general store. In the 1930s, a U.S. Post Office was located in the building.