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“Had to check it out..so-so tour” 3 of 5 stars
Review of George Washington Masonic National Memorial

George Washington Masonic National Memorial
101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, VA 22301
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Ranked #7 of 67 things to do in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A very visible tribute to George Washington stands on King Street in Alexandria, Virginia.
Coventry, Connecticut
Level Contributor
43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Had to check it out..so-so tour”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

After passing the Masonic temple so many times either on the Metro or the Amtrak station, I felt compelled to go check it out. The building is impressive, especially sitting atop the big hill facing Old Town Alexandria. The lobby also is very cool. I thought paying the $8 to take the tour would reveal even more. Our guide seemed very nice, but he was seemingly terrified of public speaking. We really did not learn much about the Mason's or the building itself. The one nice perk was an elevator trip to the top of the tower. The view of Alexandria was terrific from up there. I'm glad we did go scratch this one off our list. But if you haven't visited most of the other great sites of DC, I would not go too far out of my way to come see this attraction.

Visited April 2013
Thank X-countryGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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339 reviews from our community

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staten island
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28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Last minute add to our itinerary”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

I'm glad we went! It's a wonderful tribute to George Washington with tidbits of history that I probably would not have learned if we didn't go to this memorial.
We went shortly before closing time, so we did not do the tour.
Small child and teenager both enjoyed.

Visited March 2013
Thank georgiaStatenIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Alabama
Level Contributor
163 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“The Tower on the Hill”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

I have visited the DC areas many times, mostly on business, and I have always observed the Washington Masonic National Memorial in the skyline. I have been meaning to visit this place, particularly since I read about it years ago in Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol". Well, this time we decided to visit.

The only downside was that we didn't arrive at a time where we could do the guided tour that takes you to the top of the tower. The tours are 10 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm. We may go back and do that. The guided tour takes a little less than an hour and is only $8.

The building was dedicated in 1932 and the design is reminiscent of the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. You will see Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. The memorial was inspired by the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world that is no longer around for us to compare. This is very fitting because the tower is located in Alexandria, Virginia! The tower is also capped with an Egyptian style pyramid.

George Washington was a Freemason and there are many artifacts on display that portray him in his full Mason regalia including a replica of his Mason apron. One of the most interesting artifacts is his Masonic chair. George Washington joined the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia when he was 20 years old and later joined the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 of Virginia, where he became Grand Master. The chair is now used to induct all new Grand Masters of the Alexandria Lodge which is still in existence today and meets in the Memorial.

As you walk in the door the first sight you will see is the Memorial Hall and it is a sight to behold. The ancient Greek and Roman influence continue here. There are enormous columns making up the huge portico and at the end of the room is the colossal statue of Washington in his Masonic apron and jewel standing in front of a massive chair. It is quite beautiful in the rounded niche with just the right amount of lighting. You will see beautiful murals surrounding the area. One of the most interesting is the one depicting Washington laying the cornerstone of the United States Capital in 1793.

The site also has a replica of the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 which displays the original furniture. The Washington Masonic chair is located here.

I was a bit disappointed with the Grand Masonic Hall, located on the first level. Not that is wasn't beautiful with the huge 4 feet in diameter, 18 feet high granite Doric columns, but because there was very little lighting in which to see the beauty. It was as if someone forgot to turn the lights on. At the end of the long hall a bronze bust of Washington is visible. You can get a closer look at it by walking around to the other side. It is huge and sits in front of a mural of Mount Vernon.

There is lots of history here and lots of information about Masons. It shows our first President from a different perspective.

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Hrpamw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
62 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good if you are a Mason”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a tall stone building in the center of town. It has a great view from the top of the tower but the displays and artifacts are rather boring and amateurish. Cool if you are into George Washington history. Admission is way over priced so go into DC everything is free.

Visited November 2012
Thank David1101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Go for the view, not the tour.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

My fiancé and I took the tour, seeing as we both live in Old Town and can't help but see it all the time. The tour itself is a joke. The only actual artifact is the Washington Family Bible, which is pretty cool. The rest of it is ridiculous. My fiancé jokes that the captions with the artifacts are like "Indians were alive during the time of George Washington. They used arrows to shoot. This arrow is similar to the type of arrow Indians would have used" and then have some arrow a Boy Scout probably made. But for $5, it's a pretty good observation tower.

Visited August 2012
Thank Cinderella921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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