- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is now a national historic landmark.

The National Park Service announced Tuesday that the Masonic memorial and three other sites across the country are being added to the list of historic landmarks.

The Freemasons built and maintain the memorial as a commemoration of the first U.S. president, who was also the first master of the fraternal group’s Alexandria lodge.

The 330-foot memorial was dedicated in 1932. The park service says the building, on an Alexandria hilltop, blends neoclassical and skyscraper design.

More than 2,500 sites are on the list of national historic landmarks. The park service typically adds five to 10 new sites to the list annually.

Park Service spokeswoman Victoria Stauffenberg said the designation flows primarily from the building’s architectural significance. It gives the memorial the opportunity to apply for preservation grants and the opportunity to consult with Park Service preservationists.

Shawn Eyer, a spokesman for the memorial, said the Masons are already engaged in preservation efforts. “We know it’s an important building and are committed to restoring it where needed.”

Eyer said the building is open to the public for tours and contains numerous artifacts and exhibits explaining Washington’s connection to the Masons.

“And the view from the top is not to be missed,” he said.

Memorial officials sought the designation several years ago. Several Alexandria-based lodges continue to use the building for regular meetings, including the lodge to which Washington belonged.

The other sites designated historic landmarks Monday include Red Rocks Park and Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Jefferson County, Colorado; First Peoples Buffalo Jump in Cascade County, Montana; and Lafayette Park in Detroit.

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