(Past Master - Naval Lodge No. 4)
We know from Harper’s History that the first purpose-built Masonic structure in the District of Columbia was known as Union Lodge Room, on Eleventh Street NW, near Pennsylvania Avenue, and was a joint venture of Federal Lodge No. 15 (now No. 1) and Columbia Lodge No. 35 (now Justice-Columbia No. 3).
Additional detail about the building is found in an article from the January 31, 1900 edition of the Evening Star, in which we are informed that the property was purchased for $75.00 from Nicholas King, a member of Federal Lodge, and that it was a 23’ x 50’ parcel of ground in lot 14 of square 323. It was described as being a brick building of two stories, with an exterior stairway on the south side that provided access to the lodge room. Although a logical conjecture might place the building on the southern portion of lot 14, adjacent to lot 1, the exact position of the building is unknown: it is reasonable to assume that the building fronted on 11th Street.
Union Lodge Room was used as a Masonic meeting place from 1804 to 1827, first by the two lodges that built it, and after the formation of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia in 1811, they were joined by Lebanon Lodge No. 7 and the Grand Lodge.
As with DC Masonic buildings today, the lower floor was rented to provide income for upkeep and expenses. The Evening Star article tells us, “...it afforded accommodations for the boards of aldermen and common council,” and, “...was also used for many years by the old Washington library and the Vine Lyceum Society.” The article goes on to say that, “...before proceedings were instituted to condemn the site for the government, it was under rent to colored Masons,” most likely refering to Prince Hall Masons in the city.
The whole square was razed for the erection of the magnificent "Richardson Romanesque" City Post Office, with its grand clock tower. However, the location was not geographically conducive for use as the District’s main postal facility, and ceased being used for that purpose in 1914. For decades thereafter, he structure was used as an office building. Today the site is occupied by the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.
 From contemporary newspaper advertisements, it appears that the construction was at least partially financed by subscription.
 Brother King worked as a surveyor for the Board of Commissioners of Washington in 1796-1797, and was appointed City Surveyor by President Thomas Jefferson in 1804, a position he occupied until his death in 1812.