The body of the 26-year-old man, whose name was not released, was found around 2:30 a.m. at Filbert and Juniper Streets in an area known as Center City.
Officer Tanya Little, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police Department, said the height from which the man fell was not immediately known, nor did police know if his death was accidental, according to Philly.com.
Initial reports said the man may have been hit by a car or attacked, KYW-TV of Philadelphia reported. But surveillance video from the nearby criminal justice center reportedly made clear that he was trying to climb the temple, the report said.
Police said they don’t know why the man was climbing the building.
The Masonic Temple took five years to build and was completed in 1873, at a cost of $1.6 million, according to the website VisitPhilly.com. It serves as a meeting place for 28 Philadelphia Masonic lodges, the website says.