The Washington Post, Aug 21 1937, Page 1.

Page 1.

Memorial That Wasn't Built Puzzles With Its Cornerstone.

George Washington Association Invited to Say What's to Be Done With Marker From Art Gallery Site.

What to do with a used cornerstone that never has marked anything is, a problem now on the hands of the George Washington Memorial Association.

A. K. Shipe, attorney for the association, had the question raised for him yesterday when there arrived at his office a small metal box that had been uncovered on the foundation site of the big $10,000,000 National Gallery of Art

The workmen dug up the huge white marble stone that had contained the box and were considerably puzzled—until it was figured out in the office of Architect John Russell Pope that, although the George Washington Memorial was never erected, its corner stone was laid.

By messenger the box was then rushed to the office of David E. Finley. a trustee for the art gallery. Being a very wise man, Mr. Finley remembered that Mr. Shipe had been the memorial association's lawyer.

Quite frankly, Mr. Shipe does not know what is going to happen to the box. It might be opened and its contents checked—since some valuable historic documents are among them. It might be included in the corner Stone contents for the new gallery. Or something else might happen.

There does not seem to be much demand for opening the box. If anything was going to be missing, it has had plenty of time. The cornerstone was laid in 1921.

One ornament on the box created much interest in the offices through which it passed on its way to Mr. Shipe. It is a large gold star and, supposedly, was taken from the floor of the old railway station that was on the gallery site long before the George Washington Memorial thought of being there. According to legend, it marked the spot where President Garfield was standing when assassinated.

During its lifetime, the George Washington Memorial Association raised more than $500,000. It was incorporated in 1898, and its donations came from throughout the country. But soon after the cornerstone was laid it became evident the donations would not be sufficient to erect the memorial. The plan was “dissolved” by act of Congress, and it was decided that memorial donations would go to George Washington University.

The cornerstone itself is on the art gallery site—also waiting until Mr. Shipe can get instructions from officers and trustees of the memorial association.

Memorial That Wasn't Built Puzzles With Its Cornerstone., The Washington Post, Aug 21 1937, Page 1. (PDF)