The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria has been designated one of four new national historic landmarks in the United States. This was announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis last Tuesday. The neoclassical tower which is built on a hill overlooking Old Town Alexandria, is "among the most architecturally significant projects to honor George Washington and one of the boldest private efforts to memorialize him," the Park Service said in an announcement.

The memorial was built to honor Washington, a charter member of the Alexandria Freemasons lodge. The building was erected between 1922 and 1970 on a site once nominated by Thomas Jefferson as a possible location for the nation’s capital. The exterior was completed in 1932, and the interior was finished in 1970.

Shawn Eyer, spokesman for the memorial, said: "The architecture of the building makes such a powerful statement that people are very curious. The building itself was meant to be a statement — and the primary statement is to express our esteem for George Washington."

An interesting detail: The designation of the memorial as a national U.S. landmark comes on the 262nd anniversary of Washington's raising as a Master Mason.