As we continue to move towards warmer weather, now is the perfect moment to plan a springtime trip with members of your lodge or your family. Freemasonry spans across the United State with landmarks, libraries, and museums from across the country. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Masonic sites to visit this spring below. Read through our article and let us know which one of these are on your Masonic bucket list.
The Scottish Rite Cathedral located in the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana, is home to the Valley of Indianapolis and is the largest Scottish Rite cathedral in the world. Constructed between 1926 and 1929 the monument is made from the state’s limestone and features a 212 foot tower at its exterior. Inside the cathedral you’ll find a Tiler’s floor for Masonic meetings adorned with a marble floor and wall markings representing the four degrees of the Scottish Rite. On the second floor you’ll find a two-floored ballroom with a hanging chandelier and a balcony that runs along three sides of the room. Don’t forget to visit the Masonic library filled with historic books on the working tools of Masonry or watch the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in their second-floor auditorium.
If you’re traveling to the east coast this spring we recommend visiting the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. Located in Lexington, Massachusetts the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library has thousands of volumes of Masonic literature, memorabilia, and images to sort through. They also feature a handful of rotating exhibitions to check out. A few exhibits currently on site are, “The Masonic Hall of Fame: Extraordinary Freemasons in American History,” “Together in Dearest Union: Photographic Portraits of Odd Fellows,” and “American Masonic Presidents.” If you’re planning on traveling to Lexington for the Museum and Library you can also visit the many landmarks from the Revolutionary War and walk the trail that Freemason Paul Revere rode from Boston to Lexington.
Located in Alexandria, Virginia just a few miles from our nation’s capital stands the George Washington Masonic Memorial. The building is far more than just a nod to our former President and Freemason George Washington, it hosts the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Library, and stands tall as a national historical monument. Construction for the monument began in the early 1920s when Grand Masters from across the country urged a “suitable Masonic Temple” be built to honor George Washington. As you may know, many Ohio Masons traveled to Washington, D.C. this past February in honor of the Cornerstone’s 100th Anniversary. If you weren’t able to attend this winter, we recommend taking a visit this spring!
The Philadelphia Masonic Temple in Pennsylvania’s capital features architectural inspiration from the Middle Ages and Renaissance era. This national historic monument includes a variety of lodge rooms, a Masonic library and museum, the Grand Banquet Hall, and the Grand Master of Pennsylvania’s offices. Across 3 floors you’ll find ornately decorated halls and corridors with nods to international designs from across the globe. In addition, the temple features an exhibit hall where patrons can view many of Philadelphia’s masonic treasures. As this year is the Philadelphia Masonic Temple’s 150th anniversary there’s no better time than now to visit the city of brotherly love.
In 1909, during a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, a resolution was put into place that called for the construction of a new House of the Temple in Washington, DC. After a year of reviewing blueprints Grand Commander, James D. Richardson, decided on a design that would honor one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus in Turkey. Over a hundred years later the building still stands tall in Washington, DC with a museum and library filled with archives and exhibits for any curious Mason to explore. If you’re already in town to visit the George Washington Masonic Memorial, we recommend heading downtown to the House of the Temple to round out the perfect Masonic springtime trip.
Interested to learn more about other Masonic spots across the country?