Masonic Hall today

James (Pereginato) pointed out that the Masonic Hall, where the Washington Universalist parish met when Walt Whitman was a visitor (c. 1870), was not demolished as I had feared. In fact, it is in a vital part of downtown across the street from the National Portrait Gallery (which has been closed for renovations for six years and reopens July 1!) and catty-corner from the new Spy Museum. You can have a very nice and expensive seafood dinner there now. The strip of F Street in the foreground (where the black sedan drove up) is called Walt Whitman Way. Walk back behind you from the vantage of the photo, and you will get to the office where Clara Barton ran her Missing Soldiers Office. (National Park Service press release). The building’s now condo, with the original space preserved for history — and a Starbucks on the ground floor.

See the photo after the jump.

Author: Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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