Last week, I visited the Washington, D.C. area and had an opportunity to visit the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA. I had long wanted to visit the memorial which is a tribute to George Washington as a Freemason and the fraternity as a whole. Since I had to travel through Alexandria in order to get to the nation’s capital, it was a convenient stop during my trip.
The monument’s property is gorgeous. The grounds surrounding the building are well kept and complement the beautiful stone building. When approaching the memorial from the parking lot, its size is awe inspiring. As you get closer and see the quality of the perfect ashlars which compose this edifice its beauty becomes more apparent. It will make any Freemason contemplate the value of the fraternity to our Masonic predecessors. The construction of this building was no small achievement and those Freemasons that assembled to create it must have placed great worth in our noble art.
The interior of the building boasts a number of grand halls, lodge rooms, and Masonic displays. The building is kept in excellent condition and is appealing to the eyes. The main floor features two beautiful lodge rooms each with its own display of various Masonic memorabilia. I would love to be a spectator of degree work in these lodge rooms as they are quite awe inspiring.
The lower floor features the Grand Masonic Hall as well as museums dedicated to Freemasonry and the Shrine. The Freemason’s museum was one of the more informative, accurate, and tasteful displays of Masonic history that I have ever seen. Some artifacts that caught my attention were Lafayette’s Masonic apron, a copy of Webb’s Freemason’s Monitor, and a copy of the Constitutions of 1723.
The tower of the building features more displays and an observation deck. In order to access the tower, you must take a guided tour which occurs several times throughout the day. The tour guides at the memorial will be more than happy to assist you in taking one of these tours which cost only $5 (access to the main and lower levels is free).
The memorial is conveniently located right across the street from the King Street Metro Station, which makes it an easy commute from anywhere in the D.C. metro area. The memorial is open daily and you can find more information on the George Washington National Masonic Memorial at its website.
I went to DC last summer and took the train out to the monument. As you pull into Alexandria you can see the top of the tower. I didn’t know the monument was so close to the station or that the tower I was seeing was the top of it. As we pulled into the station a view opened up of the giant square, compass and G. It’s amazing to behold. I recommend any brother that can go to do so. It’s a great source of pride for the fraternity and humbling all at the same time.
Is it open to non Masons too?
Yes, the memorial is open to the general public and non-Masons are more than welcome to visit it during its regular hours.
I was about a week behind you in visiting the George Washington Masonic Memorial. I would like to add that the tour was well worth the price, and our tour guide was a Brother from a local Lodge. I brought my family (who are not “into Freemasonry” as I am) and they enjoyed the visit. If you are in the Washington DC area I would highly suggest a visit.