Most Pittsburghers remember the Syria Mosque as a venue where they saw some of the most famous musicians and actors/actresses of the 20th century perform. However, the Syria Mosque was built and operated by the Shriners, a fraternity that is an appendant body to Freemasonry. The Shriners staged an annual circus at the Mosque to raise money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. They also raised money from the many performers who rented the hall. The Syria Mosque became unprofitable in the early 1980s and this, along with concerns about the lack of parking in Oakland, encouraged the Shriners to sell the property and move their headquarters to Cheswick in 1991. UPMC bought the property and razed the Syria Mosque.