Monday, September 13, 2010

George Washington Masonic Memorial

Another stop on our recent Washington trip, that was inspired by Dan Brown's the Lost Symbol, was the George Washington Masonic memorial. The temple was built in the 1920's and is located in Alexandria where we were staying. It provided an interesting look into how the Masons expanded from Europe to North America and the involvment they have had in the construction of the many iconic buildings in North America.

We toured each of the floors in the tower of the Memorial. The first couple provided background(with memorabilia) on George Washington and his evolution from a private citizen to president as well as his involvement with the Masons. The next few provided information on various organizations in or associated with the Masons one of which was the Tall Cedars of Lebanon.

This is the view of Alexandria from the observation level of the tower.

A view of the grounds leading up to the Memorial as taken from the observation level.

In the entry hall of the Memorial is this large bronze statue of George Washington wearing a Masonic apron.

And not at the Memorial but at the Smithsonian, here's another statue of George Washington also referenced in Dan Brown's book. He is sculpted in the image of Zeus:

There was a bit of an uproar when the sculpture was revealed and it was never displayed in the Capitol as intended. If you are interested, here's a bit more info.

More trip highlights to come!


Rosemary said...

So interesting.

Bill A. said...

Very nice pictures of the GW Masonic Memorial. It is a fascinating place and I was there last year. I will be there again in May 2011 as there is a conference scheduled in the memorial.
The one thing I would add, however is that the Zeus statue of Washington was originally placed in the Capitol Rotunda. It was met with jeers from those who saw it and it was soon decided that the weight of the statue was too great for the floor of the Rotunda as it had a crypt beneath it, meant for Washington's remains. The Statue them was placed in an outdoor venue for some year until it was discovered that the weather was eroding the statue. It was then decided to move it to the Smithsonian and that is where it has been ever since.
If ever in Washington D.C. again, be sure and search for the 'key of all keys'. It's another fascinating bit of misinterpreted history that sounds too good to be true.