One of the monumental sphinxes at the headquarters of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite Masons at 16th and S Streets NW was defaced with pink paint during the weekend. Workers at temple this morning said they were astonished that someone would vandalize the temple.
According to the National Park Service, the Temple of the Scottish Rite Masons at 1733 16th Street was designed by John Russell Pope, who also designed the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial. The temple is part of the 16th Street Historic District, and was constructed between 1911 and 1915. In 1931, the Association of American Architects voted the structure the fifth most beautiful building in the world. Wikipedia has additional information about the temple and the organization.
The temple has been an important part of the neighborhood. Until last fall, its grounds on the 15th Street side were home to community garden for 20 years — a local community garden, a haven for city dwellers with a green thumb in search of a place to cultivate flowers, herbs and vegetables for 20 years. The plots were reserved for DC residents who didn’t have a place to garden — giving preference to residents in the 20005, 20009, and 20036 zip codes.