Alexandria, Virginia: George Washington Masonic National Memorial
- 600 Carlisle Dr., Alexandria, VA
- I-395 exit 5, then drive east on King St. for two miles. On the south side of King St., just west of its intersection with Callahan Drive/Russell Rd.
- Daily 9 am - 4 pm, off-season 10 am - 4 pm. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Lots of odd stuff collected by Masons on display, from a replica Ark of the Covenant to George Washington's Clock of Death. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [07/26/2009]
Visitor Tips and News About George Washington Masonic National Memorial
The OTHER Washington monument in the DC area, this structure, which looks like a cross between the lighthouse at Alexandria (Egypt) and LA city hall, was built by the Masons to memorialize George Washington, one of the most famous practitioners of the craft.
The guided tour takes you through several rooms dedicated to different orders of Masonry (Shriners, Tall Cedars, Knights Templar, etc.), all of which share a strange combination of Biblical, Egyptian, and Medieval architecture, along with weird Masonic kitsch, such as a collection of fezzes, a giant Shriner bobble-head doll, and a replica of a strange monument from the Blue Ridge which can only be described as Masonic Outsider Art.
Much emphasis is placed on the Masons' charitable works, which is fine, but it is odd to see -- in what is meant to be the crypt beneath King Solomon's temple -- a display about the dangers of arteriosclerosis. In addition to the Masonic rooms, there is a large theater, several Masonic lodge rooms (including the one in which George Washington was the master), a gift shop, and a George Washington museum (in which you can see a beer can left by workers who built the monument).
In the basement is an automated toy shriner parade -- which is presently off limits due to renovation.[Willie Zaza, 05/30/2004]
Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol dressed in his Masonic apron and that apron, and the silver trowel that he used, are a prized exhibits here. Also on display is his bedchamber clock that was stopped at his exact moment of death.