Nineteen Governors of New York State have been Masons. Many famous celebrities have been New York Masons, including Harry Houdini, Irving Berlin, and Al Jolson, among countless other notables. The Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York at the present time (2016-2018) is Most Worshipful Jeffrey Williamson of Alden, NY. The New York Grand Lodge Headquarters, also known as Masonic Hall, is located at 71 West 23rd Street (at the Avenue of the Americas) in the historic Chelsea district of Manhattan. Masonic Hall is open for free public tours weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment. Masonic Hall is home of the Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge, which houses one of the most complete collections of Masonic literature and artifacts in the world. The New York Masons began the Child ID Program, or CHIP, in response to the staggering number of missing children nationwide. In 2006 over 50,000 children participated – and more than 275,000 have taken part since the program began in 1991. The NY Masonic Child Identification Program imprints a child’s digital image on a Mini CD-ROM and prints a personal identification card that captures fingerprints and records personal information. The parents, only, retain this important information for use in an emergency.
The New York Masons own and operate the Masonic Care Community, a state-of-the-art retirement community in Utica,New York. It began operation in 1894 to provide care for indigent Masons, their widows and orphans. Today, the New York Masons provide a continuum of health care encompassing a range of facilities from and award-winning independent living campus to assisted living to skilled nursing and rehabilitation for Masons and non-Masons alike.
The world renowned Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) was founded by the Masons of New York State in 1958 and has pioneered in studies relating to the heart and diseases of the heart. The MMRL has been awarded many international awards for its research into cardiac arrhythmias and biological and molecular genetics of the heart. The MMRL is located on the Masonic Care Community campus in Utica.