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Masonic Architecture

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posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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I have always had an interest in architecture, and have recently noticed many theories being put forward that Washington DC was built to a Masonic design. However, I take that theory with a small pinch of salt as the ‘designs’ are just made up of points and with enough points any pattern can be made.

Now I do not mean to disparage those that are into these theories, but I am more interested in how Masonic ideals and philosophy has influenced the actual architecture of buildings, rather than the sometimes spurious alignments of buildings. (See thread )

For example in Esoterica Vol V, Patrizia Granziera, examines the links between Masonic design and Georgian stately homes (the article can be found here ). I found this to be a very interesting piece of academic research and I particularly liked the analysis of Chiswick House and Palladian architecture.

If anyone has read this article already I would be very interested in having a discussion of the points developed in it. Also does anyone have any further links or information about the cross-pollination between architecture and Masonry during the Georgian period and beyond?




posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 10:37 PM
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A lot of masonic architecture centers around architecture itself. For example, many lodges have an expressedly architectural theme to them. I've seen one lodge building that contains five lodge rooms, each designed after one of the five orders of arhcitecure (ie: the tuscan room, or doric room). The 2nd degree plays most of its influence in this area.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 04:52 AM
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Thanks Seb for the info. Do you know where I would be able to find any photos or links to see the architecture of lodges themsleves?



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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Washington DC was built to a Masonic design. However, I take that theory with a small pinch of salt as the ‘designs’ are just made up of points and with enough points any pattern can be made.

Designs like symbols have always been copied. To claim a design or symbol as belonging to Masonry only would be a mistake. There are however many symbols which are today generaly agreed upon as being Masonic. Tomorrow that might not be the case. I agree that you should always take such theories as the Washington DC one with a grain of salt. No doubt that if one looked hard enough you could find Masonic designs and symbols at Vaticain City.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 07:59 PM
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Designs like symbols have always been copied. To claim a design or symbol as belonging to Masonry only would be a mistake. There are however many symbols which are today generaly agreed upon as being Masonic. Tomorrow that might not be the case. I agree that you should always take such theories as the Washington DC one with a grain of salt. No doubt that if one looked hard enough you could find Masonic designs and symbols at Vaticain City.



I could not agree more. With geometric shapes there are only a finite number of shapes/symbols that can be recognised by the human brain. Whether these symbols are masonic/luciferic/devilish or republican is totally in the eye of the beholder. If one has a theory, one will go to any lengths to ensure that any new data fits in with that theory. I think that this is the essence of many of delusions that some extreme conspiracy theorists hold. If you have a theory in your head you will go to any lengths to ensure that any new data will fit in with your theory (I do not mean to offend anyone with the above statement).

However, the point that I was trying to make in my opening statement in this thread is that I am very interested in the actual architectural manifestation of Masonic philosophy, and not the supposed 'luciferic' patterns that some are more than happy to find in the plans of cities and buildings. I suppose that basicaaly I am after 'pro-Masons', be they Masons, or just not 'anti-Masons', to take this opportunity to show that Masonry has had a positive effect on architecture over the last three hundred years (maybe more years, but that may be unfounded speculation
)

ps Trinityman - thank you very much for the links, I particularly like how the masons (small em!!) were dwarfed by the large stone blocks used to build the columns in the United Grand Lodge of England - great sense of scale.

Sebatwerk - was the lodge with the rooms of different architectural orders that you visited either the Philidelphia or New York Grand Lodges as shown of Trinityman's links, or are there other lodges that also follow this pattern? Also, how does the second degree play its architectural influence?



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 08:37 PM
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Originally posted by 23spy
Sebatwerk - was the lodge with the rooms of different architectural orders that you visited either the Philidelphia or New York Grand Lodges as shown of Trinityman's links, or are there other lodges that also follow this pattern? Also, how does the second degree play its architectural influence?


I did not visit the building, just took a virtual tour similar to the ones in the links that Trinityman provided for you. Like I said, this is a very common thing. There are MANY lodges whose architecture is based on the lessons of the 2nd degree.

In a summary, the 2nd degree's lecture is basically a giant tribute to Pythagoras and his works. The initiate is taught the masonic history of operative masons during the time of King Solomon, the significance of the 5 orders of architecture, the 7 liberal arts and, specifically, Geometry. It is a beautiful lecture and has influenced MANY part of modern Freemasonry. The most obvious and visible way to show this influence is in the design of our buildings.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:12 PM
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23spy if you really want to see some excellent masonic architecture visit the Indianapolis Scottish Rite Cathedral . The House of the Temple of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite in Washington D.C. and the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria,Va..They all have tours open to the public.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 12:21 PM
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Snoresman

I would love to visit these sites, however I live in the UK, and I do not have any plans to visit the US at the moment, but I will definitely add them to my list of things to do / see when I am in the US.

Does anyone have information on how Masonry has affected the architecture of non-lodge buildings? Did the Masons have a large part to play in neo-classicism? Was Palladio a Mason, and was Vitruvius a Mason? Did architects, who were Masons, include Masonic theory in their non-lodge buildings?



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 05:49 PM
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Snoresman, Seeing how you are in the UK. You might check out some of buildings designed by Christopher Wren. Many Masonic historians claimed that one time Christ was the head of the Masons in England. Just a thought.

[edit on 6-9-2005 by lost in the midwest]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by lost in the midwest
Many Masonic historians claimed that one time Christ was the head of the Masons in England.


Lost in the midwest you should be careful about what you say - some people may take it the wrong way.


I have spent quite a bit of time looking at Wren's work. Only this evening I was looking at St Paul's from the top of Tower 42 - the 2nd tallest skyscraper in London, and no matter f what direction or perspective that you look at it St Paul's is an amazing building.

St Paul's has an incredible dome, and from what I have gathered from the article here a round building, or a building with a dome is meant to be symbolic of perfection. As I understand it Wren followed Michaelangelo's dome of St Peter's in Rome when designing St Paul's in London. This design was then copied in Paris and Washington DC, the Pantheon and Congress respectively.

So if Wren was following Michaelangelo's design, and Wren was a Mason, would that make it quite possible that Michaelangelo was a Mason also. Does anyone have any proof of either Wren or Michaelangelo's connections with Masonry?

The wikipedia article on St Peter's has a beautiful picture of the interior.



Now would I be correct in thinking that the columns supporting the structure in the centre of the picture would be described as Solomonic? Why is this? I thought that the columns in the Temple of Solomon were Turcan or of a similar architectural order. Does Masonry include Solomonic columns in its view of architecture, and if not, why not, as surely they would be the closest to that of Solomon's temple, and hence of great importance. Besides all this does anyone know why the St Peter's has them, and what is the significance of the structure that the column supports.



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