On Tuesday, I went to all the Masonic sites I wanted to see in DC. I started at The House of the Temple, the headquarters of the Scottish Rite southern jurisdiction. I got a really great tour of the place from the intern there, she was very knowledgeable about Freemasonry and fun to talk to. I was surprised that they only use the building once every two years. The Temple is an absolutely stunning example of art and architecture, and pictures just cannot do the justice it deserves. There are a lot of great artifacts and Masonic items on display throughout the building. I really liked seeing the items taken to the moon by Bro. Buzz.
After the House of the Temple, I made my way to the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virgina. There they have a replica of Washington’s home lodge room where among many items is found the big guy’s own chair and the clock that marked his time of departure from this earth. This building also has a lot of really great art and architecture that should be seen by anyone visiting Federal City. On the tour, I went into the George Washington museum there, looked at elaborately decorated rooms representing different bodies of Masonry, and got a great view of the area from the observation deck.
When I left Alexandria, I went to the Almas Shrine Temple across from Franklin square. This building is 5 stories, but it is mostly office space. One of the brothers there was kind enough to give me a quick tour of the part of the building used by the Shrine. They have a really cool looking bar and banquet hall. The most decorative part of the building is the front edifice, which was moved piece by piece in 1987 from its original location that was built in 1929.
Later my friend took me to a great Dim Sum place called Ping Pong, and then we went to the Albert Pike statue in Judiciary Square. Pike was a prominent figure in Scottish Rite Freemasonry, and he is the only Confederate general who is honored with an outdoor statue in Washington DC.