DC Vacation, Day 7: An Almost Tour of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Temple, and a Travel Day Home

After packing up our bags, we had a small bit of time to kill before our flight back to Chicago. So Liz and I decided to head across the street to the Freemason Temple, where we heard there were public tours.

Front steps. The temple recently celebrated its 100th anniversary (having opened its doors in 1915).

Side view.

Interior. On arriving inside (the door was opened for us by a security guard), we were told that we couldn’t wander on our own – and we had to be part of an official tour. There was one slated for 10:30 AM, so we just hung out in the lobby area, waiting and taking pictures.

A lot of “Scottish Rite” magazines, which had a cover featuring a ton of “masonic gavels.” Which I guess are a thing?

Things I did not know: Shaquille O’Neal is a freemason.

Orante decoration on many of the chairs.

Similarly ornate designs on man of the lamps.

Looking towards the stairs. Note the two large Egyptian block statues, on either side.

The same inscription is on each one. Not sure what this means, but would welcome a translation from anyone who can read it.

Looking up at the lights.

At the top of the stairs.

What we have done for
ourselves alone dies with
us; what we have done for
others and the world
remains and is immortal

Sadly, this is as far as we got, as the tour guide was apparently late today. We watched an informational video, and continued to mill about. But after it became clear there was a significant delay, we ended up having to leave in order to catch our plane.

Which was a total bummer, because I would have loved to have seen the rest of the place.

Door detail.

An old “Night Bell” button, for use presumably when the larger doors are shut. It seems such a striking detail, seemingly both old and modern at the same time.

DC Vacation, Day 1: Travel Day and a Late Dinner at Society Fair
DC Vacation, Day 2: Wandering Down King Street, Dinner at Carluccio’s
DC Vacation, Day 3: Courtney and Andrew’s Wedding at River Farm
DC Vacation, Day 4: More Escape Room Adventures, Beer at Churchkey, and a Sudden Rush of Water from the Ceiling
DC Vacation, Day 5: Lazy Cafe Time, Walking around Theodore Roosevelt Island, Dinner at Martin’s Tavern
DC Vacation, Day 6: Visiting the Library of Congress, Spontaneous Research, Getting Lost, and a Quiet, Final Night

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