The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a magnificent nine-story neoclassical structure that has been built and maintained by the Freemasons of the United States to honor the memory of George Washington and to preserve the history and heritage of American Freemasonry.
Located at 101 Callahan Drive in Alexandria, the Memorial is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and offers guided hourly tours that include five or more areas. Here are six major places you are likely to visit during the tour:
- Memorial Hall–you will enter the Memorial Hall through the huge portico that looks like the entrances of ancient Greek and Roman temples. Here, you will find eight green granite columns 40 feet high and over four feet wide.
- Replica Lodge Room– adjacent to Memorial Hall, this space mimics the old meeting room of Alexandria-Washington Lodge as it was over 140 years ago. It displays the original 1802 lodge furniture, a replica of the famous Watson-Coussoul apron, the Capitol Cornerstone Trowel, the famous portrait of Washington by William Joseph Williams, and other fascinating artifacts.
- The Family of Freemasonry Exhibit– located on the third level of the tower, this exhibit features organizations such as the Grottoes of North America, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Shrine, and Youth Orders.
- The George Washington Museum– is on the fourth level and features exhibits and a lot of artifacts that were donated by Washington family descendants, including the 1792 Washington Family Bible.
- The Knight Templar Chapel-is an impressive chapel expressing the symbolism of the Masonic Knights Templar.
- The Observation Deck- is on the ninth floor of the Memorial and offers a stunning 360-degree view of Alexandria, the District of Columbia, and the surrounding region.
Admission to the Memorial is $18 but children aged 12 and under are admitted to for free and must be accompanied by an adult. Five tours run daily at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.