The Cathedral of St. John The Devine In New York City was built according to the designs and methods used by Operative Freemasons of the Middle Ages as nearly as modern knowledge, skill and circumstances made it possible. Except that its founder, Bishop Henry C Potter, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was an active Freemason, this first American cathedral, properly and strictly so called (architecturally), has received little attention from the American Fraternity, though each year an increasing number of Masons visit it to see with their own eyes what kind of work had been done by the founders of their own Craft. The second genuinely Gothic cathedral to be erected on the Continent, the National Cathedral at Washington, has been in a different case, for so many Grand Bodies have taken a share in building it that they must in the future ever feel a small sense of proprietorship in it.
A charter to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation was granted by Congress in 1893. A cathedral close of 65 acres was purchased on Mount Saint Alban, 400 feet above the general level of Washington, D.C. Its central tower will stand higher in the sky than the Washington Monument ; it and the Washington Masonic Memorial (Freemasonry's own national cathedral) will be in full view of each other. Washington had expressed a hope for "a church for national purposes," I'Enfant had embodied it in his city plan; the National Cathedral is a realization of their dreams.
The bodies of Admiral Dewey, President Wilson, and Bishop Satterlee already are entombed in it; in the course of time it may become another Westminster Abbey. There will be in it a Masonic Section, as planned for by Bro. and Bishop James E. Freeman; hundreds of Masons or Masonic Bodies have paid for stones to be used in it. A Masonic Committee of the National Cathedral Association was formed, led by Bro. John H. Cowles, head of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction; the Rt. Rev. James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, Honorary Chairman.
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