VA -- Alexandria -- George Washington Masonic Natl Memorial:
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- MASON_970912_01.JPG: George Washington Masonic Natl Memorial
This 333-foot-tall landmark is in Alexandria Virginia. It was modeled after the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. One of the rooms contains the original furnishings of Alexandria Lodge No 22, the lodge in Alexandria over which Washington was the first Worshipful Master under Virginia charter. Personally, I find it kind of disturbing to think of the nation's founder walking around with the little Masonic apron but maybe that's just me.
The highlight of the hour-long tour of this place is the 5-minute view from atop the building which gives you a nice view of Alexandria. The building is very tall and it sits atop one of the tallest hills in Alexandria (Shooter's Hill) so the view is wonderful. Unfortunately, it was overcast when I went up so the pictures didn't come out and it'll take awhile before I'm willing to endure the other 55 minutes of the tour to take some more shots.
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- Wikipedia Description: George Washington Masonic National Memorial
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a masonic lodge and memorial dedicated to the memory of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America and a Mason. George Washington belonged to Alexandria Lodge 22, and was named the lodge's Charter Master in 1788. Records of Washington presiding over the lodge are non-existent, possibly due to a fire at the lodge's original location in Alexandria's City Hall, which is where the lodge met until moving to the memorial in the early 1940s. Ground was broken in 1922, the Cornerstone laid in 1923; it was completed in 1932. It is located in Alexandria, Virginia atop Shuter's Hill (named after a union fort on the same location) and affords views of Alexandria and Washington, D.C. to the north. The tower is fashioned after the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Egypt), in part because of the town's namesake, and the masonic interest in great buildings of the ancient world. It is located where King Street leaves the Old Town district, makes a bend and starts up a long hill. The Memorial's proximity to both the King Street station of the Metro and to Amtrak's Alexandria passenger station, in recent decades has turned the property into a most strategic and valuable location.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is the only Masonic building supported and maintained by the 52 Grand Lodges of the United States. This is counter to common Masonic practice, where a building is only supported by the Grand Lodge of the state in which it resides. The building also houses the collection of the Alexandria Lodge, which contains most of the fraternal artifacts of George Washington, including: Watson and Catsoul Apron, Sash, Past Master portrait, Working Tools and Trowel used to lay the cornerstone at the United States Capitol.
Art and architecture:
The masons are master craftsmen, and the building was built entirely with on-hand funds and donations- no loans were made for the construction. The design commission was awarded to the New York architectural firm of Helmle and Corbett. Designed in the classical style, the entrance is Doric, while the interior of the main hall (Memorial Hall) is Composite. The tower sections are Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The tower is capped with an Egyptian pyramid, and capped with a flame-like finial, as a homage to the lighthouse of Alexandria. All the murals inside were done by a single artist, Allyn Cox.
Rooms and levels:
There are ten floors from basement to the top; select rooms are used for the public guided tour. The fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth are all furnished by Masonic appendant bodies, in particular the York Rite, Grotto, and Tall cedars of Lebanon
The First Floor contains three large, distinct areas: the Shrine Rooms, Assembly Hall, and Dining Rooms. The Shrine Rooms are dedicated to the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Shriners, who have established orthopedic hospitals and burn centers for children. The Assembly Hall is in the center space of the first floor, with eight New Hampshire green granite columns eighteen feet tall. Around the room are dioramas depicting scenes from the life of George Washington. This room also contains an animatronic George Washington owned by the Scottish Rite. The Assembly Hall (South Lodge Room) is used by the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 and other visiting Masonic lodges. The North Lodge room is used by the Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 120 and other appendant Masonic organizations.
On April 4th and 5th scenes were shot inside the Assembly Hall for National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which will be acting as the Smithsonian Institution in the film.
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