This paper presents a linear applied element method (AEM) modeling approach for investigating the effects of the Mw 7.8 2015 Gorkha Nepal earthquake on a historical Pagoda temple. The impact of the earthquake is also investigated using linear FEM models and the results from both modeling approaches are compared. The numerical models are developed and calibrated using pre- and post-earthquake data collected from ambient vibration testing, lidar scans and data processing, and visual damage assessment. The numerical results indicate that the linear AEM models are as reliable as the finite element method (FEM) models to predict the modal response of the case study temple. In addition, the AEM models can potentially be further developed to estimate the damage from future earthquakes through nonlinear analyses. The present study not only informs the present health status of the masonry temple, but it also estimates how acceleration at the base of the temple is propagated through the height of the temple through comparison of floor response spectra, which could provide valuable insights into the force distribution over the height of the temple for the design of future retrofits.