Dear PoP – Palm Trees on 16th Street?


“Dear PoP,

Spotted at the Scottish Rite Temple at 16th and Columbia NW. Huh.”

Well we’ve admired this door before but I don’t know if we’ve addressed the palm trees. Anyone know what the story is? Does the Scottish Rite Temple just like palm trees or is there a deeper meaning?

14 Comment

  • Um, Palm Sunday.

  • Yesterday was Palm Sunday.

  • The palm trees aren’t seasonal. They’ve been up since at least last summer. We’re glad to see we’re not the only ones wanting to know why they’re there. Perhaps they’re the lost symbols of Freemasonry that Dan Brown wrote about?

  • The palm trees have been up for nearly a year, so not anything to do with palm sunday. Furthermore, while they have some Christian underpinnings, the Scottish Rite Freemasons are not strictly a Christian organization, and they don’t celebrate Christian holidays. They are not a church.

    Palm trees have significance in freemason beliefs. The phoenix bird, from Egyptian mythology, represents knowledge and is said to have built nests in palm trees. The trees represent resurrection.

  • What gets me is that there are no outside door handles on that massive metal entrance. Can anyone go inside or do you need to be part of the society to enter?

  • Can’t tell you, it’s a secret

  • It’s a lot like Fight Club.

    How can I join? Do I have to be invited?

    Freemasonry is a fraternity (for men) whose membership must be sought by the candidate. So, in other words, to be a Mason, ask a Mason how to become a member.

    • While that used to be true, the Freemasons, like many membership organizations in the last couple of decades, have seen a real decline in membership. My father is a Mason and his lodge has much looser standards for membership of late. One lodge in his town advertises on highway billboards. I don’t know about lodges in DC, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s easier now than it used to be.

  • I bet Dan Brown knows!

  • I think the entrance is actually around the side though I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone other there besides the gardener.

  • Yea, they’ve been there for quite a while.
    They aren’t looking too great as of late…I’m sure this past winter has alot to do with it. I know a few varieties of palm trees can make it this far north, but really struggle to do it.
    I hope they make it. I like the look of them!

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