The George Washington Masonic National Memorial was recently added to the United States government’s official list of National Historic Landmarks and to the National Register of Historic Places. In celebration of this, officials from the National Park Service and many officers of the Memorial Association were on hand as the historical plaque bearing the designation was unveiled in a public ceremony held on the Memorial’s front steps, Saturday morning, February 27, 2016.
Among the dignitaries present were: Ridgely H. Gilmour, President of The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association; George D. Seghers, Executive Director of The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association; Paul D. Dolinsky, Chief, Historic American Landscapes Survey, National Park Service; Robert Vogel, Director of the National Capital Region, National Park Service; Alex Romero, Superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway; and Perry Wheelock, Associate Regional Director of the Office of Resource Stewardship & Science, National Park Service. After inspiring and insightful remarks by several officials, the bronze plaque was unveiled by Association President Ridgely Gilmour and Park Service National Capital Region Director Robert Vogel.
Freemasons everywhere were proud when the Secretary of the Interior designated the George Washington Masonic National Memorial as a National Historic Landmark. By coincidence, the official announcement fell on August 4—the 262nd anniversary of Washington’s raising as a Master Mason in Fredericksburg in 1753. The designation recognizes the special significance of our Memorial, which was conceived, funded, built, and maintained by the Freemasons of the United States as a testimony of our admiration of George Washington.
According to the National Park Service, every National Historic Landmark possesses “exceptional value and quality in illustrating . . . the heritage of the United States.” The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is honored to be acknowledged as such a distinctive institution. The Park Service referred to the Memorial as “the only major unified, fully national initiative of the Freemasons and among the boldest attempts by a private organization to memorialize George Washington.” The Memorial truly expresses Masonry’s admiration for George Washington.
The National Historic Landmark designation does not entail Federal funding for the Memorial. In fact, the inclusion of the Memorial by the Historic American Buildings Survey is based upon the fact that it is a private institution funded by Freemasons themselves. It is not just that the building alone is historic, but more so the fact that it represents the collective effort of Masons around the country to honor George Washington, not only as the father of our country, but as a brother of the Craft—built and maintained strictly through private donations.
Your ongoing support is essential to our current restoration effort. To see how you can help, visit the Landmark Century Campaign page.