The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a Masonic building and memorial dedicated that’s dedicated to the late first President of the United States, George Washington who is also a Mason. This building is located in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington D.C, which was built to look like the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt.
What’s interesting about this memorial was that Freemasons from across the country started purchasing lands and collecting money so that they could have enough funds to hire an architect for the building and to proceed to its construction. The construction started on June 5, 1922, and was completed after ten years.
Another interesting fact about this Memorial building was that even if the country was still experiencing the effects of the Great Depression it still failed to bring the work to a halt.
In 2015, the National Park Services deemed the Memorial a National Historic Landmark. It is recognized as “the only major unified, fully national initiative of the Freemasons and among the boldest attempts by a private organization to memorialize George Washington.”
Today, this Memorial and Museum is still active as a Masonic temple but also functions as a research library, a cultural space, a community and performing arts center, and an important regional landmark in Virginia.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The building is made out of solid concrete with a granite facade. The structure of the whole building is made out of concrete with granite stones carved from New Hampshire brought to Virginia to design the exterior of the building. The whole design is a magnificent nine-story neoclassical structure with many elements that have been inspired by ancient Greek and Roman architecture.
Freemasons from all across the world still gather in The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Alexandria VA to conduct discussions and duties within the organization.
The Director of Collections, Mark A. Tabert, called the Memorial, “The Mecca of Freemasons.” Their mission for the visitors of the Memorial would be to educate individuals about George Washington’s life, principle, and works.
In the museum, you will see the badges, swords, and other possessions of George Washington that have been preserved to show individuals the bravery of the first President during his time. It’s a sentiment to how he was a brave soldier even before the age of 26 and how he led his men in the war for their independence.
Tour the Historic Memorial
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Alexandria VA is open to visitors seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and five tours run daily. So what can you expect when you visit this magnificent Memorial?
As you enter the building, you will be welcomed by a massive portico that’s symbolic of the entrances of Greek and Roman temples. Looking around from both sides of the portico, you will see tablets engraved with passages from Washington’s correspondence, which expresses his deep regard for the Masonic fraternity. The Memorial Hall showcases eight green granite columns, exquisite marble flooring, and two magnificent murals by Bro. Allyn Cox. At the end of the hall, in a rounded niche, a huge statue of George Washington stands wearing his Masonic regalia. This statue was created by Bro. Bryant Baker and was dedicated to President and Freemason Harry Truman in 1950.
Replica Lodge Room
This area is adjacent to the Memorial Hall. It’s a space that mimics the old meeting room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge that was established on September 16, 1802, and existed on the second floor of City Hall for over 140 years. Furthermore, the Replica Lodge Room also has the original 1802 lodge furniture, a replica of the famous Watson-Cossoul apron, the Capitol Cornerstone Trowl, the famous William Joseph Williams portrait of George Washington, and other interesting artifacts.
The Family of Freemasonry Exhibit
This is on the third floor of the tower, which features organizations, such as the Grottoes of North America, The Tall Cedars of Lebanon, The Order of the Eastern Star, The York Rite, the Scottish Rite, the Shrine, and Youth Orders.
The George Washington Museum
This is located on the fourth floor of the building. The exhibit’s alcoves show George Washington as a Virginia Planter, Model Citizen, Military Officer, Mourned Hero, American Icon, and the Nation’s First President. It features many artifacts from Mount Vernon, which was donated by the Washington family descendants, including the 1792 Washington Bible. The mezzanine level showcases additional exhibits that present the history of the original construction of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, items that previously decorated the walls of Mount Vernon, and the Freemasonry’s architectural symbolism.
The Knight Templar Chapel
This can be found on the eighth level of the building – a temple that presents the symbolism of the Masonic Knights Templar. The chapel includes four stained glass windows designed by Bro. Allyn Cox in 1957.
The Observation Deck
At the topmost part of the building, there is an observation deck outdoors that provides a 360-degree view of Alexandria, DC, and the surrounding region. Inside, there is an interesting exhibit of historical photographs that depict the construction of the Memorial in the 1920s and ’30s.
Founder’s Hall Exhibit
The Founder’s Hall Exhibit is in the northwest hallway adjacent to the Memorial Hall. The exhibit presents busts of Charles H. Callahan, the originator of the Memorial, and the first three presidents of the Memorial Association. Photographs of past and present Memorial Officers are also featured in this exhibit.
The Form & Function of American Freemasonry
This area is located on the south side of the first floor where it features the origins of Freemasonry and its development. It also tells the arrival of this idealogy in American colonies and the role it has played in the history of the United States. Also, other than George Washington, other American Presidents and leaders who were Masons are also featured: Benjamin Franklin, Harry Truman, and Andrew Jackson.
The theater’s semicircular seating accommodates an audience of almost 400. It has sixteen gold-veined Missouri marble columns of the Doric order standing around the perimeter on the mezzanine. Along the mezzanine, 14 bronze plaques can be found depicting the President of the United States who were Freemasons. The Washington family’s coat of arms can also be seen above the stage. At the center of the stage’s background, there’s a portrait of Washington by local artist Christopher Erney, which was commissioned for the Centennial of the founding of the Memorial Association.
South Lodge Room
This is the home of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No 22 since the year 1947. This suite of rooms includes an anteroom and a small gallery that exhibits numerous Alexandria-Washington Lodge artifacts, items, and paintings, and a portrait display of Past Masters of the Lodge. Furthermore, the design of the South Lodge Room evokes a Neoclassical style of the young Republic.
North Lodge Room
In contrast to the Neo-classically-inspired interior of the South Lodge Room, the North Lodge Room evokes more Gothic Style. Its arched ceiling is constructed with exposed oak beams, and the surrounding oak balconies, wainscoting and gothic arched stage bring out drama to the room’s setting.
Experience the rich history The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in baptist church Alexandria VA has to offer when you visit this historical landmark. Roam around the exhibits and learn more about the great man that was the First President of the United States – George Washington.