The new issue of Smithosnian magazine includes a visit to the Washington, D.C. House of the Temple of the Scottish Rite, southern home to the Freemasons. The building, designed by James Russel Pope who was also the architect behind the Jefferson memorial, is built entirely of stone with no metal girders. Seen here is a stunning stained-glass window featuring the Eye of Providence, a familiar icon of the Illuminati Freemasons.
From Smithsonian (photo by Regis Lefebure):
The massive limestone facade is ringed with 33 Ionic columns. The number 33 proliferates in Masonic ritual, but the group's historians say they don't know what it symbolized originally. The dark green marble floors of the atrium lead to a grand staircase and a bust of Scottish Rite leader Albert Pike, a former Confederate general who spent 32 years developing Masonic rituals. Pike remains a controversial figure, with detractors alleging that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a Satanist. In 1944 the Masons, by an act of Congress, gained permission to dig up Pike's remains from a local cemetery and bury them in the temple.
Among the artifacts on display is a Masonic membership certificate signed by Paul Revere. The silversmith reportedly recruited some brethren for the Boston Tea Party, in 1773. A large painting of George Washington laying the cornerstone for the Capitol and wearing a Masonic apron hangs in the banquet hall. Scores of portraits line a curving mahogany corridor in a sort of I-didn't-know-he-was-a-Mason gallery: Sam Ervin, John Glenn, Harry Truman, Arnold Palmer, John Wayne and Will Rogers among them. On the first floor is the reconstructed office of FBI director and Mason J. Edgar Hoover.