Monday, September 28, 2009
A Location in The Lost Symbol
"The George Washington Masonic Memorial stands atop Shuter's Hill in Alexandria, Virginia. Built in three distinct tiers of increasing architectural complexity from bottom to top--Doris, Ionic, and Corinthian--the structure stands as a physical symbol of man's intellectual ascent. Inspired by the ancient Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, this soaring tower is capped by an Egyptian pyramid with a flamelike finial."
Last Friday Jack and I drove with our younger daughter Jeanine to Old Town Alexandria for a nice lunch in old town. While on the road we passed both the King Street Station on the Metro Blue Line and George Washington Masonic Memorial that figures in Dan Brown's latest thriller. In the above photo you can see the temple atop Shuter's Hill and King Street. In front of the building you can see the famous Masonic symbol on the lawn. (By the way this hill is a perfect location for watching the Fourth of July fireworks being fired off on the mall in Washington D.C.)
In this photo you can see a bit of the King Street Metro Station on the Blue Line at the traffic light. A couple of years ago Jack and I took an hour long tour of this Masonic Memorial. I can tell you that it reeks of rich dark woods and marble floors and some interesting rooms that are open to the public. Of course not all of the rooms are open to the public. Here's how Dan Brown describes the inside of the memorial in Chapter 78 of The Lost Symbol:
"Inside the spectacular marble foyer sits a massive bronze of George Washington in full Masonic regalia, along with the actual trowel he used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol building. Above the foyer, nine different levels bear names like the Grotto, the Crypt room, and the Knights Templar Chapel. Among the treasures housed within these spaces are over twenty thousand volumes of Masonic writings, a dazzling replica of the Ark of the Covenant, and even a scale model of the throne room in King Solomon's Temple."