Wonders of Masonic America

These colorful Masonic destinations are on the
must-see list of every Masonic traveler and admirer of the craft.

By Laura Benys

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Below is the article from the May/June 2018 issue of California Freemason. Read the full issue here. 

If you’ve been seeking an excuse to see the country, there’s no better time than the present. The lens of Freemasonry offers a fascinating perspective!

GEORGE WASHINTON MASONIC NATIONAL MEMORIAL
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA

Come for the Masonic history and incredible architecture, stay for the amazing view. Brother Harvey Wiley Corbett, the building’s architect, drew upon the Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World, as his inspiration. In addition to employing many Greco-Roman architectural styles, the building includes Replica Lodge Room – duplicating the design of Alexandria Lodge No. 22’s first permanent lodge room built in 1801. Preservation of this stunning Masonic building is funded by Masons around the United States (a donation to the memorial is included in California Masons’ per capita).

Visit: gwmemorial.org

THE HOUSE OF THE TEMPLE
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Located in our nation’s capital, the House of the Temple is the headquarters of the Supreme Council, 33°, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA. Modeled after the famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, in Turkey – recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the House of the Temple has been open to the public since its 1915 construction. Take an awe-inspiring tour of John Russell Pope’s breathtaking architecture, including the two 17-ton sphinxes that adorn the building’s entrance and the magnificent dome ceiling of the Temple Room, which soars 100 feet above the altar. You’ll also be dazzled by a good amount of Masonic memorabilia in the mini-exhibits throughout the interior.

Visit: scottishrite.org/headquarters

THE PHILADELPHIA MASONIC TEMPLE
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

A visit to the City of Brotherly Love isn’t complete without a visit to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Considered to be one of the most beautiful Masonic buildings in the world, the temple that houses the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania boasts stunning rooms based on themes of the ancient architectural world, including Egyptian, Moorish, and Corinthian rooms. Constructed in 1873, it is filled with intricate ornamentation representing Masonic philosophy, symbolism, values, and history. Its museum counts among its many treasures the Masonic apron worn by United States President George Washington in the 18th century. Take a selfie with the bigger-than-life bronze statues of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in front of the building.

Visit: pamasonictemple.org/temple

SANTA FE SCOTTISH RITE CENTER
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO

Built in 1912, this pink Moorish-style building includes a mural of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella accepting the surrender of Boabdil, the last Islamic ruler of Granada, Spain, in 1492. It was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. You can’t miss it – its architecture and interior garden sets it apart from its surroundings. Cool down from the hot sun with a tour of the lovely Alhambra Theater and more.

Visit: santafescottishrite.org

MASONIC HALL NYC
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

Foodies and historians unite in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, where you can take in the beautiful turn-ofthe-century Masonic architecture alongside food trucks and high-end cuisine alike. This impressive Masonic temple was built in 1873 and serves as the meeting place of the Grand Lodge of New York. Among its 15 immaculately restored event spaces are the fresco-embellished Renaissance Room and star-adorned Gothic Room. Its 14th floor houses the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Library and Museum, which includes more than 60,000 volumes detailing Masonic history, philosophy, and symbolism.

Visit: masonichallnyc.org

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