This 333-foot-tall museum and library atop Shooter’s Hill in Old Town Alexandria was built in honor of George Washington, a devoted Mason; it was dedicated on May 12, 1932, the bicentennial year of the first president’s birth. Its distinctive tower was modeled after the Lighthouse of Alexandria in ancient Egypt.
Construction of the Neoclassical, Greek Revival and Romanesque Revival building was begun in 1920, but slowed by the Great Depression and World War II. The Memorial’s interior wasn’t formally completed until 1970, and with the addition of a large Masonic symbol known as the Square and Compasses to the front lawn, its exterior was finished in 1999.
The Memorial features rotating exhibits of personal artifacts known as “Washingtonia,” and a comprehensive library of books and papers pertaining to both Washington and Masons. Guided tours are given every hour, on the hour, and advanced reservations are only offered for groups of 10 or more. These tours include the Memorial’s tower and observation deck.