I never heard of Moorish revival architecture until I saw the Bloomingdale’s home store in Chicago. It is housed in a restored Masonic temple built by architects Huehl and Schmidt in 1912 for the Shriners.
The building was declared a historic Chicago landmark in 2001. After renovations, which included replacing the original domes, the Bloomingdale’s home store opened there in 2003.
According to the Medinah Shriners website, they, aka Shriners or Shrine Masons, belong to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America (A.A.O.N.M.S.). They’re only tied to an Arabic theme through the imagination of its founders, Billy Florence, an actor, and Walter Fleming, a physician. Florence attended a party in Marseilles hosted by an Arabian diplomat. At the end of the party, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence returned to the States inspired by his Marseilles experience and worked with Fleming to create an exotic backdrop for the fraternity. They designed elaborate rituals, salutations, emblems, and costumes, including the Shriners’ distinguishing red Fez hat.
When the building opened, it housed the fraternity. They gathered in a red velvet audotrorium now filled with escaltors, $1,000 sheets, and a cool sound system designed under the constraints the historic status placed on renovations: no speakers mounted on the dome and floating floors.
The Shriners used to hold parades for children regardless of religion. They still work today towards child welfare and health issues.
The building is obviously Moroccan-inspried. I love the way the eight-point star is used in the stain glass windows like a head of a body.