October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011, the House of the Temple began a 3 day kickoff to the centennial of the laying of the cornerstone. Special guided tours were held covering the Masonic symbolism and Pope’s vision for the House of the Temple.
From its foundation to the thirty-three massive columns that support its pyramidal roof, the House of the Temple symbolizes the ideals of Scottish Rite Freemasonry around the world. In October of 1911 the cornerstone of the House of the Temple was laid to grand fanfare.
In August of 1911, plans were made to hold a very special and Masonically symbolic ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the House of the Temple. At the invitation of Sovereign Grand Commander James D. Richardson, Grand Master J. Claude Keiper of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia presided over the laying of the cornerstone on October 18, 1911, two days after the opening of the Biennial Session. The cornerstone was laid in the northeast corner of the property at Sixteenth and S Streets in a well-attended ceremony with “approximately six thousand in number” (Proceedings, p. 104). Attendees included Commanderies of the Knights Templar, Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 of Virginia, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia along with twenty-nine other lodges, the Camp Guard of Albert Pike Consistory No. 1 of the District of Columbia, the Grand Lodge of Maryland and the Supreme Council.
Want to join in the rest of the centennial celebration? Join us October 17 at 9:00 am for the Laying the Cornerstone Symposium and October 18 at 11:00 am for the reenactment of the Laying of the Cornerstone Ceremony. (Reenactment open to everyone; reception following).