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Masonnic Dessign: The Exprression of Masonic Idealss on the LLandscap pe and A Architectture of America A By Hugo H Lemes

ARCH 3819 – History of America an Landsca ape Architeecture, Spriing 2011 Prof. Leonard L M irin 0  0  


“If it were not for Freemasonry, the world would become a herd of savages; and more, if it had not been for Masonry it never would have been anything else but savages.” Washington newspaper editor Anne Royall, the widow of a Freemason

“The Freemason sees with special sight, for the uninitiated are in darkness, and are blind.”

“With its commitment to ideals of equality, brotherhood, tolerance, reason, wisdom, benevolence, and a feeling for nature, Freemasonry satisfied a longing in many intellectuals to establish associations of the like-minded, and it sought that chimerical goal - the perfectibility of man.”

Curl and Kennon


Introduction Since its independence in 1776, the United States quickly became ubiquitous as a nation that has with it the connotation of freedom, equality, and other ideals set forth by the founding fathers, after a period in which the western word was heavily oppressed by monarchs and popes, from the Dark Ages all the way up to the Renaissance. Freemasonry, during the Enlightenment period, became a fraternity linked with freedom, equality, and brotherhood, and when one starts investigating its origins and intents, it becomes clear that the United States and Freemasonry stand for the same principles and ideals, and that both are, in fact, conceptually one and the same. Historically, as well-put by Jane Conner, Freemasonry has “always held ideals of religious toleration and basic equality of all people, [from] their beginnings [with the] building of King Solomon’s temple in 1030 B.C” (Conner) to the present. Because the United States government and Freemasonry share many philosophical parallels, one can find not only immediate influences of the organization on early American presidents and politics, but also a direct physical manifestation on monuments, art, and architectonic symbols embedded across the American landscape and cities that reflect these ideals. Many of these artifacts and edifices, often found in public architecture, were dedicated with elaborate masonic ceremonies, and constructed during the early development of the country. Although such masonic dedication of buildings lost such power and significance in the present (Kennon), the artifacts from the past expressed through art and symbolism are everywhere to be seen and understood by those who become aware of their deeper meanings. It is the goal of this paper to expose some of these artifacts that have been influenced by Freemasonry or that have been directly created to stand for masonic ideals; At the same time it is also the objective of this dissertation to investigate the reasons for the creation of these elements in both American landscape design and architecture, while trying to trace the philosophies of key American figures and international designers to a more ancient past. Some of the earliest American masonic monuments and buildings can be traced back to Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and Virginia. However, the most prevalent occurrence of this typology, particularly on the landscape, happens in Washington D.C.

Marker Stones One of the earliest manifestations of masonic ideals on the American landscape dates back to the surveying of Washington D.C. by Ellicott and the capital Commissioners, in 1791. At Jones Point, which is now Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the following events happened, according to Jane Hollenbeck Conner in her book Birthstone of the White House and Capitol: Freemasons, in an elaborate ceremony, placed the first boundary stone on the southernmost corner. Its exact location was calculated by Ellicott’s assistant, Benjamin Banneker, a black astronomer. The Alexandria Gazette noted that during the ceremony, corn, wine, and oil were laid upon the stone to symbolize nourishment, refreshment, and peace. The Rev. James Muir, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Alexandria, presented a prophetic oration about the infant nation. “From this stone,” he said, “may a superstructure arise, whose glory, whose magnificence, whose stability, unequaled hitherto, shall astonish the world....”

Here we get a sense that Reverend James Muir expressed the importance of impressing the world with a magnificent, colossal structure that would be in par with those found in the ancient democratic societies of Greece and Rome, as well as in the more monolithic and ceremonial temple-like structures of more ancient civilizations. It is obviously implied that “The new Federal City was going to have its own temple, and that [the later] proposed Capitol was to be the largest and most important symbol of freedom for the nation. (Conner) In fact, Jefferson wrote that this future edifice was “the first temple dedicated to the sovereignty of the people,” which is, needless to say, a very republican, anti-monarchical, anti-church dominance statement that would forever haunt the sleep of future popes and the race of the Bourbons. The place for this temple structure, which was still in imagination, was delineated by a marker stone (Fig. 1), versions of which were also used to set the boundaries for the rest of the District of Columbia. (Fig. 2) 3   

Figure 1 1. One of the origginal forty boun ndary markers (ssome placed with masonic rituaals)

  Figure 2. Location n of the forty bo oundary markerrs superimposedd over Elicott’s m map of the distrrict (Conner)


Anothher fascinating masonic lanndscape intervvention in Wa ashington D.C.. is to be founnd in the 1792 2 version of thhe plan of the e city, m modified by George G Washington and Thomas T Jefferrson, featuring g Patée Forméée crosses typ pically associa ated with the Temp plars (the Maltese Cross) annd with the Frreemasons (the successors oof the Templa ars in some theeories). (Fig. 3 3)

  FFigure 3. White House(left), and d the Capitol (rigght) featuring M Maltese/Masoniic/Templar Crossses/ Patée Form mée as modified d by George  Washington and Thomas Jeefferson

Thee White e House (President’s Ho ouse) One of the first arrchitectonic ma anifestations in i Washingtonn D.C. involvinng masonic id deals happeneed with the deesign and asonic cornersttone ceremonnies, it went thhrough a uniquue revelation building of the Whhite House. Similarly dedicated with Ma enovation, whe en numerous stones s bearing g masonic ma arks were founnd. These marrks, geometricc in design, durinng Truman’s re stood d for a masonn that had worked on a particular wall or o part of the building, and d stood as signatures of theeir work. Because of the existence of these marks, scho olars have be een able to seee evidence thhat some artissans worked b both at the White House and the Capitol building, b to tra ace some masons back to EEurope (from m masonic lodgees in Scotland d in p that many symbols are directly linnked with Freeemasonry. (Fig g. 4) particular), as well as to have proof

  Figu ure 4. Mason ma arks discovered in the White Ho ouse during Trum man’s White Hoouse renovation. More than forrty marks were ffound. (See the  Appendix fo or more informaation on Symbolls and Masonic Marks)

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Truman, the president at the time, was astounded by the discovery, and “set some of the stones in the kitchen on the ground floor, today’s curator’s office.” (Conner) The other stones were sent to Masonic Grand Lodges in all forty-eight states along with a letter that had the following message: “I place in your hands…one of the…stones removed from the walls of the White House during its restoration and rebuilding. …These evidences of the number of members of the Craft who built the President’s official residence so intimately aligns Freemasonry with the formation and the founding of our Government that I believe your Grand Lodge will cherish this link between the Fraternity and the Government of the Nation, of which the White House is a symbol.”

Truman, later a member of the fraternity, recognized the influence of the Craft and was clearly proud of their involvement in the construction of the capital. Conner, in fact, observes that “virtually all building construction in the new Federal City proceeded only after Masonic cornerstone ceremonies were held.” The masonic ceremony for the White House, featuring an oration by the master of the Georgetown lodge, had the cornerstone laid on the southwest corner. A detailed report by a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, gives an idea of the procedure:

Under the stone was laid a plate of polished brass, with the following inscription: “This first stone of the President’s House was laid the 13th Day of October, 1792, and in the 17th Year of Independence of the United States of America. George Washington, President. Thomas Johnson, Doctor Stewart, Daniel Carroll, Commissioners James Hoban, Architect. Collen Williamson, Master-Mason. Vivat Republica.”


Ca apitol Buuilding The C Capitol buildinng, the temple e of the natio on (also referrred to as such by John Ada ams in his Unioon message), ffollowed with even more elaborate masonic ceremonies. c Thhis time, the masonic m manifeestation happ pened with thee dedication oof a corneerstone placed d at a southea ast corner tha at had been kept k vacant. T he event, held d on Septemb ber 18, 1793,, required that m masons from both b sides of the Potomac to t be presentt (Conner). (Fig g. 5) “Those of the Craft, however dispersed, are requested to join the work. The Solemnity is exp pected to equal the occasion.” (PPublished requestt)

  Figgure 5. Masonicc Procession for the laying of th e cornerstone o of the Capitol

This ccornerstone de edication, althhough similar to both the ce eremonies forr the district’s boundary stoones and Pressident’s Manssion, was muchh more important, and great publicity was w made for the occasion in several new wspapers at tthe time. According to Jame es Stevens Curl, this was alsso a way to promote p the d district and atttract new inha abitants, sincee it was o land parce els. The ceremo ony started w with a procession of Freema asons and a ccompany of havinng trouble witth the selling of volunnteer artillery starting at 10 0 o’clock from m the southeasstern shores oof the Potomacc. A very awee-inspiring ora ation follow wed, delivere ed by the Massonic grand master, m who em mphasized thee accomplishm ments of Freem masonry from m the collaboration of tw wo states, add ding how mucch more could be done if a ll fifteen statee united their efforts: [They would d be contributing]] “an universality y of individuals, like innumerablee hives of bees b bestowing their inndustrious labor on this second paradise.”

Instea ad of the poliished brass pllate used for the boundary y stones and tthe President’ss House, a silvver plate inscribed with the e Year of Masonry 5793 5 was use ed. (Curl and Kennon) Presiident Washin gton, wearing g a ceremonia al Masonic ap pron embrroidered by Madame M LaFa ayette, laid thhe cornerstone e, pouring corrn, wine, and ooil as symbolss for “nourishm ment, refreeshment, and peace. p (Conne er) The stone [w was] laid with a threefold t blow of o the Mason’s ma allet, indicating tthe union of the stone with the grround, or artificee with nature, and of archiitecture with the landscape. (Curl and Kennon)

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The m marble-heade ed gavel used d by Washing gton is kept att the Potomacc Lodge #5 off Georgetownn, his silver troowel is on display at the Geo orge Washing gton Masonic National Mem morial in Alexxandria, and his apron is a also property of masons. Conne er adds that “U.S. “ presidennts have used them in the d dedication of public buildinngs”, as well a as in “the Freem reena actment celeb brations for the 200th annivversary of botth the White H House and thee Capitol.” (Fiig. 6)

  Figure 6. Reenac F ctment for the 2 200th anniversarry of the “Layingg of the Cornersstone” on Octob ber 23, 1993

In thee Capitol’s corrnerstone cere emony it is intteresting to po oint out two thhings: while Frreemasonry w was symbolica ally imposing its ideeals on the la aying of the ca apital building g, it was also promoting thhe city to attra act individualss. Therefore, w while it was being g metaphysica al in its princip ples, it was allso being strategic. In manyy ways, “it wa as clear that FFreemasons w were acting ass mediators betwee en the sacred values of republicanism annd the profanee everyday w world.” (Traveers, Curl and K Kennon) This w see later, happened inn other dedica ations and ma asonic influencced designs. Inn fact, the ma asonic mediation, as we will mony led to thhe ‘blessing’ of o nearly everry public build ding, monumeent, bridge, annd even churcch for the next several cerem decades, and even to the publication of a ha andbook featturing a proceedure for “Thee Ceremony O Observed at Laying the Found dation Stone of Public Structures,” and other o manualss. (Curl and Keennon) From 1793 onwarrds, the construction and de esign of the ca apitol was sup perintended b by the Irish Freeemason and architect Jamees Hoban. Late er on, the masonic link to thhe structure was w strengthenned with the innvolvement off Benjamin Heenry Latrobe, who, from 1776 to o 1784, expe erienced the inntellectual and d aristocratic circles of Barron Karl Adolf Gottlob vonn Schachmann in Saxony, which at a the time had a strong ma asonic presence. Such expeerience clearlyy had substanntial influencee on Latrobe Virginia Statee Penitentiaryy, devoted muuch of his time who, identified as a Freemasonn in the laying of the cornerrstone of the V to thee Craft, and to t the creationn of monumennts for the exp pression of its ideals. Latrobe’s masonic devotion is exxemplified by y the fa act that he im mmediately joiined a Masonnic lodge after his arrival inn America, annd in his desig gn for the Massonic Hall in Philadelphia in 18 803, four years after his ap ppointment ass the surveyorr of the publicc buildings of the United Sttates. (Curl and K Kennon) His innfluence on the design of thhe capitol is trremendous, a s he redesignned many of TThornton’s dra awings, includ ding the southh wing plans. By B 1804, he had h also rede esigned the H ouse of Repreesentatives.

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Ca apitol: Masonic M Elements in De etail Althoough no historiical record is available pro oving the intention of Freem masons to create masonic p programs or d designs in the Capitol building, other o forms off evidence have come to lig ght in the massonic affiliatioons of many oof the organizzations of the on, in the Gre eat Seal of the e United States, in the Connstitution, and particularly iin the masonicc ceremony to o Amerrican Revolutio lay itts cornerstone e. (Curl and Ke ennon) Also, physical p evide ence of masonnic based geoometries and ssymbols can b be found in varioous places in the capitol buiilding. The first obvious one es are: circless, half-circles, ellipses, recta angles, and sq quares recurrring in variouus plans, as we ell as its tripa artite form witth the domed tomb (for Geeorge Washinngton) in the ccenter, symb bolizing the be eginning and the end, the alpha a and the e omega, the all-seeing eyye. According to Curl and K Kennon the domee is an emblem m of the degrree of master mason, for God G is all eye s and is repreesented by T.G.A.O.T.U. (TThe Great Archiitect of the Unniverse). Anothher more convvincing manife estation is in the presence of o the three cllassical orderrs (Fig. 7-9) (D Doric, Ionic, annd Corinnthian), and thhe American orders o propossed by Latrob be (Corn, Toba acco, and Cottton). In Freem masonry the thhree orders stand d for various allegorical a me eanings: Doricc for strength,, Ionic for wisd dom, and Corrinthian for beeauty. The thrree orders suppoort the lodge,, and in the Capitol C this cann be seen in the three mainn chambers: SSupreme Courrt, Senate, and d House of Representatives. Itt is also displa ayed through the arrangem ment of three columns on peedestals. In government, thhis ‘trinity’ aspect is expresse ed in the three e branches of government. (Fig 10)

  Figu ure 7. The old Su upreme Court in the Senate win ng located underrneath the Senaate Chamber feaatures primitive Paestumesque Doric columns

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Figu ure 8. The crypt under the rotunda (Intended tto become Wash hington’s Tomb)), by Latrobe, sh howing the prim mitive Paestumeesque unfluted  Greek Doric ccolumns, based on Santa Consttanza’s (Costantine’s daughter)  tomb in Rome (also has significcant in how it iss related

  Figure 9. Latrobe’s H House of Repressentatives with Greek Corinthiaan capitals basedd on those of th he Choragic mon nument of Lysicrates in Athens

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Figure 10. Thrree columns set on a triangular pedestal with sspiral garlands –– a masonic device (Curl)

and Kennon also a observe that t Latrobe’ss “choice of a Graeco-Egyp ptian style forr the Library oof Congress [is] no Curl a accid dent, no whimssical, arbitrary stylistic choiice, but an alllusion to the g great lost libra ary of the Serapeion at Allexandria and d thereefore to the lo ost knowledge e that was asssociated with Egypt, Osiris,, Hermes Trism megistus (Fig. 11), and the legendary beginnnings of Free emasonry.” Cuurl and Kenno on further exte end on the im mportance of a ancient geomeetric influencees and Herm meticism and thhe ‘spiritual’ journey throug gh the Capitol building onee takes: In this respect it is important to remember that Hermes was id dentified with thhe messenger, Th oth, and Saint Joohn (with whom FFreemasonry is closely connected), and also by Diodorus Sicculus as the secre etary of Osiris. T he second Hermes was Hermes TTrismegistus, the thrice great, thrice wise, who w invented hie eroglyphics and was identified with w Euclid (and hhence with Pytha goras), and therrefore with geom metry, architecture,, Imhotep/Ptah, and, ultimately, with God, as the e great geometeer, architect of thhe universe. Herm meticism was parrtly concerned with a spirituual journey, and real routes or jo ourneys through the Capitol (withh winding stairs, circle, corn, allussions to degrees,, and so on) would stimullate memory and d reinforce Maso onic values.


Fiigure 11. Herme es Trismegistus//Thoth/Egyptian n God or demigood of Medicine aand Writing/First Alchemist

By feeaturing such mnemonic m devvices, the Cap pitol is then a temple not onnly to the soveereignty of thhe people, buut also to the ‘initia ation’ of the sa ame into deep per mysteries.

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Thee Washhington Monume M ent

  Figure 12. Wasshington Monum ment, D.C.

Perha aps one of the e most evocattively masonicc and Egyptia an landscape symbols in W Washington D.C C. is the Washhington Monuument. (Fig. 12 2) Its 12-ton block b white Maryland M marb ble cornerstonne, donated b by Thomas Syyrmington, was dedicated with a ceremony on o Sunday, July 4, 1848. President Jame es K Polk and d members of Congress and d assorted arttillery, cavalry, infantrym men, the Marinne Band, and volunteer com mpanies para ded under thee watch of a crowd of fifteeen thousand wenty thousand d people. (Langmead) to tw As wiith other corne erstone cerem monies, an ora ation or speecch was followeed by the Houuse Speaker Robert C. Winthrop. After his tw wo hour, Grannd Master Bennjamin B. Frennch of the Gra and Lodge of Masons of thhe District of C Columbia , weearing Georrge Washingtton’s masonic apron and sa ash, and using the same troowel used by tthe first president in the Ca apitol cerem mony, formally set the cornnerstone accorrding to Freem masonic rituall. (Langmead)) Unlike the previous constructionss, however, thhe ‘Society’ in charge of thee monument ffaced several challenges inn the A it solicited crash contributions c ffrom all Freem masons in Ameerica, the conttributions fundrraising for its construction. Although weree never enough, even after 1853, when other brotherrhoods were a also included in the effort tto acquire stones: including the O Oddfellows, and the Sons of o Temperance e. According to t Langmead , an alternativve to cash wa as the so calleed decorative stonee initiative started by the State of Alaba ama, which led d the Society to invite otheer states, and even other teerritories, to dona ate an inscribe ed “block of marble m or othe er durable sto one, a produuct of its soil.” (Fig. 13) How wever, this wa as not so succeessful, and wa as discontinued d after Marchh 6, 1854, whhen a block off marble from m the ancient TTemple of Concord in Romee, donated by y Pope Pius IX X, disappeare ed from the sitte, allegedly stolen by massked thieves. Although the American Partyy faction or thhe Know Nothings was/werre blamed forr this (becausee of their antii-catholic ageenda), it would d not be surprrising if this wa as the work of o Freemasonss themselves, considering c thhat some of thhe rituals and purposes of tthe brothherhood are anti-Catholic, a and that the Catholic C Church itself for a ges has kept ‘bulls’, or official statemennts, against Freem masonry for itts secretiveness and its antii-church consp piracies: The p persecution annd death of thhe French court-infiltrator and FFreemason Co ount Giuseppe e Cagliostro, a messenger of one of fouur* early masoonic chapters in Europe, beeing perhaps one oof the most no otorious actionns directly donne against a Freemason byy the Catholicc Church, after the disband dment of the Knighhts Templar inn 1314 (allegedly the pred decessors of Freemasonry). F . * James Molai, grand maste er of the order (K Knights Templar), was thrown intoo the Bastille, annd from the deptth of his prison hee created four mother lodg ges, viz. for the East at Naples, fo or the West at Edinburgh, for thee North at Stockhholm, and for thee South at Paris. (Cadet de Gassicourt)

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In 18 874, another attempt a at funndraising from m Society Secretary John C Carrol Brent w was done, this time with more success. Masoonic groups, other o fraternitiies, and Cong gress then exp plored the ideea of having iit completed b by July 4, 187 76, at the Centeennial celebra ation.

  Figu ure 13. One of th he 193 Commem morative Stoness located in the iinterior of the W Washington Mon nument: this on ne from the Freeemasons of the  Statte of New York


Thee Bunke er Hill Monumen M nt to Josseph W Warren A processionn was formed at the State House e in Boston at an early hour, agreeeably to a Prog gramme, published in the newspa apers, and marched to the summit of Buunker Hill in Charrlestown. The vann, composed of a large military eescort in brilliantt array, two hund dred veterans off the Revolutio on in barouches, some wearing thhe equipments of their ancient annd honorable se rvice, a large boody of the Masoonic Fraternity in splendid reg galia, and extended line of diffe erent societies wiith their badges and banners, annd conspicuous a among all, the hoonored guest of the Nation, General G Lafayettte, the streets thhronged even to the house tops w with a joyous mu ltitude, all togethher presented a spectacle never before witne essed on this Conntinent. With app propriate solemnnities the stone w was laid in preseence of the vast cconcourse by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, assisted by Hon. D. Webster, W Preside nt of the Monum ment Association, and General La afayette. (History y er Hill Monument by…) (Packard d) of the Bunke

Clearly, the Bunke er Hill Monume ent has a massonic significance from the passage aboove, which seeems to predatee the laying of anny of the cornerstones in Washington W D.C C. But why ex xactly is it so iimportant? The reason, maiinly, is becausse of Joseph Warren, one of thhe most importtant and leastt known heroe es of the Ameerican Revoluttion. The follow wing 1994 acccount by Virginian Freemasson George Pushee III describes how Josseph Warren became a Freeemason and gives a hint a as to his role in thee war that libe erated America: On a quiet summer s afternoo on about 230 years ago, some Harvard H college sstudents shut theemselves in an up pper dormitory rooom to arrange some affairss pertaining to thheir class. Anothe er class member desired to be w with them knowing g they intended to thwart some ffondly cherished purpose of his h own. They reffused to admit him; the door wass closed, and he could not gain a admittance withoout violence, whicch he chose to avoid. Reconnoiteriing the premises he discovered thhat one of the windows w in the rooom was open annd he noticed a nnearby waterspoout that extended frrom the roof to thhe ground. He climbed to the top p of the house annd slid down thee eaves, then laid d hold of the spoout and descended until u he was opposite the open window. w With a prodigious p physiccal effort he thruust himself throug gh the window and landed in the e room! Simulttaneously, the wa aterspout crashe ed to the ground;; had it fallen a moment sooner tthe boy would have been thrownn to the pavement below and, undouubtedly, seriously y injured. He coo olly remarked too himself. "It serveed its purpose!"

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That Harvard boy was Joseph Warren, later to be known as Doctor and General Warren, the martyr of Bunker Hill and the Grand Master of Masons, Massachusetts Provincial Grand Lodge, in North America. The boy had already given promise of the man in whatever he undertook. The fearless act of getting into that room was the swelling bud which opened and blossomed and bore fruit in his adult life.

Playing a significant role in the Battle of Bunker Hill, Joseph Warren perished in the conflict, but left a legacy of an unwavering hero, leading to the proposal for a memorial in his honor: the Bunker Hill Memorial. Even though it is obelisk shaped like the George Washington Monument, the memorial was initially designed as a Tuscan column by Somerville’s King Solomon’s Lodge (Pushee III). A model of the first monument is displayed inside the present obelisk, and a plate featuring a list of figures involved in the inauguration of the structure is to be found at the base. (Fig. 14) Also, an urn featuring the masonic emblem is located on the top of the column. (Fig. 15)


Figu ure 14. Base of tthe Tuscan colum mn housed insid de the Bunker H Hill Monument fe featuring a dediccated base by K King Solomon’s M Masonic Lodge

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Figure 1 15. Top of the Tu uscan Column in nside the Bunke er Hill Monumennt (Notice the m masonic symbol ccarved on the urn)

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Thee Statue e of Libe erty

  Figure 16.Edw ward Moran’s Sttatue of Liberty  Enlightening th he World

The SStatue of Libe erty (Fig. 16), designed by Bartholdi, is one o of the moost explicit ma asonic symbolss on the Amerrican landsscape, standinng for one of its most cherisshed ideals: freedom. f Lang gmead reveals that severa al Freemasonss influenced the creation of “La a liberté éclairrant le monde””: Edmond annd Oscar de LLafayette (gra andsons of W Washington’s ccomrade-inarms), the Marquiss de Noailles,, the Marquis de Rochambe eau, historian Henri Martin,, and others. Laboyale is kknown to have e soughht Bartholdi to o create whatt they “believed would be a powerful p political machiine for shapinng French government and society”. (Langmea ad) In additio on, Bartholdi himself h supporrted republica an ideals held d by the earlyy French and A American goveernments. The d design of the Statues of Lib berty itself, evven though ba ased on Barth oldi’s mother,, is very evoca ative and alleegorical of Isiss or Atthena, depend ding on the co ontext in whichh one might innterpret the syymbol. The La ady of libertyy enlightens thhe word with light from her torch, which can be b an allegorry to the maso onic initiation tthat leads one from darkness into the lig ght, or from ignorrance to know wledge, which are Enlightennment ideals. As A the Capitool is a temple of initiation for the Americcan people, the sttatue of libertty is a monum ment that initia ates the oblivio ous and confuused masses ccoming into Am merica seeking to embrace e its ideeals. 18 8   

Such allegorical play with word ds and imagery was very much m reflected d in the statuee’s acceptancee oration deliivered by President Clevelannd: “We will not forget that Libe erty has here ma ade her home, no or shall her choseen altar be neglected. Willing vootaries will consttantly keep alive e its fires and these shall gleam upon the shore es of our sister Republic R thence, a and joined with answering rays a stream of lightt shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s m oppressionn, until Liberty ennlightens the worrld.”

Freem masons Chaunncey Mitchell Depew (know wn as the orator of silver w ords), and thee Assistant Ep piscopalian Bisshop Henry C. Potteer (also a Free emason) delivvered stirring closing c addre esses. A physiccal proof of tthe masonic innvolvement with the monuument can be found in the following f plaq que, located at a the base o f the status, reecording the moment and tthe people preseent during its centennial cellebration in August A 5, 1984 4. (Fig. 17)

  Figure 1 17. 1984 Centen nnial Masonic Plaque located on n the base of th e Statue of Libeerty. (Note the M Masonic emblem ms)

The SStatue of Libe erty’s idealisticc tone is know wn to have influenced manyy other sculptuures and build dings in New York. Exam mples include the t 1892 Saint-Gaudens’ equestrian e sta atue of gener al William Teecumseh Sherm man led by a winged Nike, godd dess of peace e, Daniel Chesster French’s carved allegorical images oof Justice, Pow wer, and Stud dy on the App pellate Courtthouse and Thhe Four Continnents for the U.S. U Customs House, H the Ha ll of Records, the Public Lib brary, and thee Brooklyn Instituute. “Hardly a park or plazza was not sla ated for some e sort of mem orial” (Taliafeerro) after thee creation of Lady Liberty..

19 9   

Moount Russhmore

  Figure 18 8. Mout Rushmo ore and a promeenade of state fflags 

  ar to the Statue of Liberty,, Mount Rushm more (Fig. 18) was also dessigned by a FFreemason: Boorglum. And inn the same Simila way that the Statuue stood as thhe ‘white elephant’ during World W War I,, Mount Rushm more symbolizzed strength d during World War II. However, its colossal na ature embodie es different masonic m idealss than those exxpressed throough Bartholdi’s work. It does not only cele ebrate the fouunding fatherss and what the ey stood for, but it also sa ys that, carveed from the ea arth, a mounntain can also be a monume ent, making “a a strong impression on a na ation whose self-image wa as so closely tiied to its specttacular landsccape.” (Taliaferro) Borglum m is known to have h stated thhat colossalism m was the ap ppropriate sca ale for Amerrican public art, and the prroper-sized organ for the American A Tab bernacle. During the Depreession, he emp phasized the idealls that the fouunding fatherss stood for over their cult of personality,, paralleling tthem with Euroopean conqueerors like Christopher Colum mbus, and dictating that “Man has a righht to be free a and to be hap ppy,” and tha at “[The Ameriican people was] not creating a monument to t Washingtonn, Jefferson, Lincoln, L and R oosevelt, but to the meaninng of these elleven words.”

20 0   

In its entablature or o ‘cornerstone’, are engraved part of thhe Declaratioon of Independ dence, the Coonstitution, and d the Bill of rightss, although iniitially Borglum m wanted to emphasize e terrritorial expannsion (i.e. Thee Louisiana Purchase). The sshape of the entab blature, howe ever, is based on the Louisia ana Territory as it was orig ginally purcha ased.

  Figure 19. Masonicc‐like National M Memorial Symbool found in Mou unt Rushmore 

Other Masonic Monumen M nts/Build dings/A Art and e/Archittectural Elemennts Lanndscape 1 1. Virginia’s State Capitol, 1785, desig gned by Thom mas Jefferson.. Cornerstone laid by Richm mond’s Lodge No. 4. 2 2. Massachussetts State Ca apitol, 1795, headed by Paul Revere. 3 3. University at Chapel Hiill cornerstone e dedication, one o month aftter the Washiington ceremoonies for the C Capitol building. 4 4. The Masonic Country Club, Bear Runn, created by Pittsburgh Freeemasons in 1 1890 and lateer bought by another group of Pittsburgh P Fre eemasons (Syrria Improveme ent Associatioon) featuring a large clubhoouse, a dancee pavilion, six 21   


6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.


cottages, and assorted buildings. This property was later bought by Kauffman, who heard of the place through Charles Filson, a Freemason, and later commissioned Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Langmead) The Pentagon, Bergstrom, having 5 sides (5 being a very sacred masonic number – the summation of 2 (standing for women), and 3 (for men)), although Langmead opposes this connection, and says that the construction of the building was too rushed to have featured such metaphysical ideas. The University of Virginia The University of North Carolina Many Erie Canal Locks Concord Minuteman Monument The George Washington Masonic Memorial (Fig. 20) Thousands of masonic temples/lodges spread throughout the nation with their plaque signs posted in the entrance to nearly every city. Independence Hall of Philadelphia Paul Revere’s celebration of the Stamp Act repeal (a print and a structure located near the Liberty Tree), featuring portraits of about sixteen British politicians identified by their initials: a complex allegory that is explained in the obelisks themselves (Fig. 21). Obelisks and lectern-shaped sundials: Freemasonry sought links with antiquity, and strove for enlightenment and the spiritual rebirth of mankind; it saw itself as the preserver of knowledge, wisdom, and ethics, expressed in the beauty of geometry. How else does one explain the prevalence in Scotland (a land not noted for its sunshine) of incredibly complex obelisks – and lanctern-sundials, other than as visible expressions of a knowledge of science, astronomy, geometry, measurement, skills in working stone, and other aspects of higher knowledge. (Curl and Kennon)


Figure 20. Geo orge Washington n Masonic Mem morial in Washin ngton D.C.

23 3   

Figure 21. Paul Revere’s celeb bration of the Stamp Act repeal (Print) featurin g British Figuress and allegories (Note the obeliisk shape)

  Figurre 22. The Obelissk and Lectern‐sshaped sundialss

24 4   

Conclusion It is without a doubt that Freemasonry has had a tremendous influence in the design and dedication of public buildings and monuments not only in the early republic, but also during later periods, as we have evidence through the Statue of Liberty during World War I, Mount Rushmore during World War II, and other examples. These monuments and architecture in the American landscape share very similar ideals held by the founding fathers and the ancient brotherhood that include freedom, democracy, equality, and other Enlightenment principles that had been so loudly voiced by the likes of Voltaire (also a Freemason). Even though there is not much historical evidence for Freemasonry’s intent for using its symbolism and iconography in design, according to Bullock and Kennon: Fraternal symbols were everywhere in the new republic: from a South Carolina backcountry town too small to support a newspaper, to the northwestern frontier where a visiting German minister attended a 1792 Masonic dinner around an emblematic candlestick, to the city of Philadelphia where the architect William Strickland designed a Masonic hall in the 1810s that included emblematic figures by William Rush, the first American sculptor to gain national renown. Just as important, Masonry’s symbols extended beyond the life of the fraternity itself. Squares and compasses, pillars, and the all-seeing eye adorned every sort of object, from quilts and embroidered pictures to gravestones and tavern signs – as well as the Great Seal of the United States.

Although its direct influence in American Society decreased with the anti-masonic party springing later on with the mysterious disappearance of William Morgan, in the early republic, it was believed that Masonry would help determine the character of the new nation, shaping social and national identity that followed the Revolutionary expectations: They offered an education that conformed to Enlightenment theory. And they provided a visual language of morality that was both elevated and universal. Just as brothers laid the Capitol’s physical cornerstone, Masons argued, they formed the virtuous citizenry that provided its metaphorical foundations. (Bullock and Kennon)

The peculiar and yet spectacular Masonic cornerstone ceremonies are the most explicit visual proof that indeed there was something deeper happening, and that nothing really was ever random. Bullock explains that Cornerstone ceremonies “reinforced this growing identification between Masonry and the republic,” and that, although the practice of laying cornerstones originated in England, it took a special significance in the new nation trying to redefine an entirely new way of living and of governing. While civic ritual centered around the monarchy and the church during the colonial period, the Revolution basically left a void that was occupied, in many ways, by Freemasonry. If, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, the United States Capitol was “the first temple dedicated to the sovereignty of the people,” then Freemasons in their cornerstone ceremony officiated as its first high priests. (Bullock and Kennon)


Ap ppendix: Masonnic Markks Masoonic marks cann be traced all a the way ba ack to Europe,, being found such famous structures such as the London Bridge, as Dona atella Calati and a Claudia Conforti C note in book I Ponti Delle Capitaali D’Europa (as recorded iin 1758). Onee symbol, 10 inchees high (Fig. 23 3-24), is desccribed as beinng an old marrk for Southwa ark. Howeverr, this symbol, having been studied by scholars like Alberrt Churchward d, appears to be more thann a reference to a place. Itt appears to be, rather, a very ancient bol, according to the follow wing passage: symb

  Figurre 23. Symbol fo ound on the Oldd London Bridge

  Figu ure 24. Mason SSign on the Old LLondon Bridge

6  26  

Figure. 25

Figure. 26

Figure. 27

They [Nilotic people] converted (Fig. 25) into a double cross, (Fig. 26), by placing the two sticks in a different way, and it is used amongst these people as one of their most sacred signs in their Totemic Ceremonies, and has been adopted by those who followed down to our present Christian and other Cults as one of their sacred signs, and is used by Brothers [Freemasons] of the higher degrees. The symbolism and meaning are identical all through. Amongst the Stellar Mythos people (those who first reckoned time and kept their record by observation of the precession of the seven Pole Stars) it was used in the primary form, and is an Egyptian ideograph for Amsu – i.e. it is the first name given to the risen Horus, or, as Christians would say, the risen Christ. In a later phase, in the form of a double-headed Hammer or Axe, it was the symbol of the Great One, the Great Prince (Fig. 27). [Derivations of this symbol] are found in the old Temples of Egypt, in the Ritual of Ancient Egypt, in Central and South America, Asia, and, as Evans found, at Knossos….

Churchward also observes that variations of this symbol exist in Wales, Devon, and Cornwall, as well as in other countries (Fig. 28).

Figure. 28

He further explains that the symbol below (Fig. 29) is commonly depicted on many “stone walls of many old churches in the West of England, and the interpretation [in this case] is that it represents Christ in his spiritual form in the Christian Cult:”


Figure. 29

An a ancient Babylonian scene (Fig. 45) intterestingly displays a variation of thiis symbol:

Figure. 30

Its moodern version is used in the e Catholic Chuurch to symbolize Christ: (Thhe Chi Rho) (FFig. 46)

Figure. 31

28 8   

It is vvery striking thhe similarity between b these e ancient symb bols and one of the marks found on the white house sstones (Fig. 32). However, althhough these sy ymbols seem to imply a link with Christia anity, it is imp portant to clarrify that the C Catholic bol itself (Fig. 31) is not orig ginally Christian and share es the same orrigins as the m masonic markss that we havee seen. symb



Figure e 32. Masonic m marks found in W White House stonnes during Trum man’s renovation 


Cita ations

Calabi, Donatella,, and Claudia a Conforti. I Ponti Delle Cap pitali D'Europaa. Elemond sp pa, Milano: Eleecta, 2002. 106-196. Print. Churrchward, Albe ert. The Arcanna of Freemaso onry. San Franncisco, CA: W Weiser Books, 2005. 191-96. Print.

Conn ner, Jane. Birtthstone of the White House and Capitol. 1st. Virginia BBeach, VA: Thhe Donning Coompany Publisshers, 2005. 18-140. Print.

de G Gassicourt, Ca adet. The Tomb of James Molai: or, the Secret S of the C Conspirators. 2 2nd. Boston, M MA: Benjamin Edes, Kilby Street, 17 797. 6-7. eBoo ok.

Dona ald Kennon, Steven S Bullocck, and Jamees Curl. A Rep public for the A Ages: The United States Cappitol and the PPolitical Culture off the Early Rep public. 1st. Cha arlottesville, VA: V The Univeersity Press of Virginia, 199 99. 165-265.. Print.

Hazeelton, George e. The Nationa al Capitol: Its Architecture Art A and Historyy. 3rd. New Y York, NY: J.F. Taylor & Com mpany, 1914. 24. Print.

Packkard, Alpheus. History of thee Bunker Hill Monument. M 1stt. Portland, M ME: B. Thurstonn, 1853. 14-32. eBook. 29 9   

Pushee III, George. "Joseph Warren: Martyr of Bunker Hill." Freemasonry. C.B. Vance Council #85, Allied Masonic Degrees, Chesapeake, VA. 07 Apr 1994. Lecture.

Image Citations

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. Jane Conner, Birthstone of the White House and Capitol 20. Jane Conner, Birthstone of the White House and Capitol 18. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 225. Jane Conner, Birthstone of the White House and Capitol 140. George Hazelton, The National Capitol: It’s Architecture, Art and History 24. Jane Conner, Birthstone of the White House and Capitol 42. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 249. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 254. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 264. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 232.  <>  < et_big.jpg>  <>  <>  <>  <http://www.wallpapers‐‐1886‐ Edward‐Moran‐Statue‐of‐Liberty‐Enlightening‐the‐World.jpg>  <‐plaque.jpg>  <>  < 51.JPG>  <‐content/uploads/2009/11/Washington‐Masonic‐Monument‐ VA3.bmp> Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 204. Donald Kennon, A Republic for the Ages: The United States Capitol and the Political Culture of the Early Republic 217. Donatela Calabi and Claudia Conforti, I Ponti Delle Capitali D’Europa 191. Donatela Calabi and Claudia Conforti, I Ponti Delle Capitali D’Europa 191. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 137. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 137. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 137. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 191. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 196. Albert Churchward, The Arcana of Freemasonry 193.  <  h t t p : / / w w w . a b h u s . c o m / a d m i n / i m a g e s / c h i _ r h o . J P G   > Jane Conner, Birthstone of the White House and Capitol 140. 


Masonic Design: The Expression of Masonic Ideals on the Landscape and Architecture of America  

Paper exposing scholarly research on the influences of Freemasonry on early American design

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