The George Washington Masonic Memorial (also known as the Masonic Temple) is located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The memorial was built in the 1920s with private contributions by the American Freemasons to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Mason.
The Masonic Memorial is 333-foot tall and has a tower similar to the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt. This reflects the similar names of both cities (Alexandria, VA) and the masonic interest in ancient architectures of the world.
The main entrance is spectacular. As you open the doors, there is a pillared hall with the gigantic bronze statue of George Washington at the end. On each side of the statue, there are two large murals: one shows George Washington laying the U.S. Capitol cornerstone in a Masonic ceremony, while the second mural shows him and his Masonic brothers attending Christ Church in Philadelphia during the Revolution. Above the murals, there are stained glass windows depicting the events of Washington's life.
The Shriner's Museum is located on the lower level of the memorial. In these same halls, there are also images and information about other Masonic Temples throughout the country. The memorial also contains interesting relics from Washington's friends and family, including the family Bible and a clock which stopped at the time of his death. Also, you get a general flavor for Masonic ritual and symbolism. For a formerly secret society, the information on display is a surprise. It will most definitely strike the outsider as unusual, but it is worth the trip.
Tours: Guided tower tours are given by Freemasons and provide access to the observation floor, which offers magnificent views of Old Town Alexandria, the Potomac River, and Washington DC. The tour schedule is Monday-Saturday at 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 am, and 3:00 pm. Sunday at 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, and 3:00 pm.
Hours: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Monday-Saturday, and 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Sundays.
Address: 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA 22301. Parking is free on a first-come, first-served basis. Up to 200 parking spaces are available.