“The Masonic Temple at 9th and F Streets, N.W., which was often used for German-American festivities, was built by German-American architects Adolf Cluss and Joseph Wildrich von Kammerhueber between 1868 and 1870. For many years, the building’s elegant façade lay disguised (yet well protected) beneath a “modern” furniture-store sheathing. The building was restored in the 1990s and is now home to The Gallup Organization. “The polychrome stone and cast-iron veneers applied to the brick walls of this Italian Renaissance palazzo offer some of the more eye-catching façades in town. When new, the building exemplified the mixed use of space so characteristic of late-19th-century, pre-zoning code urban architecture: shops jostled one another on the ground floor, and the Masonic Hall filled the space above. President Andrew Johnson, himself a loyal Freemason, laid the cornerstone and led the gala parade that celebrated the start of construction. In its prime the hall witnessed much Gilded Age gaiety: Washingtonians feted the Prince of Wales here in 1876 at a centennial banquet, and for decades society matrons fought for the honor of having their daughters’ debutante parties here.”

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