Monumental Church Cornerstone: 200 year anniversary

Monumental Church Richmond Virginia Historic Library of Congress

Monumental Church in Richmond, Virginia

August 1, 2012 is the 200-year anniversary of the day when the cornerstone for Monumental Church—the memorial for the victims—was laid. This was likely done by Boston builder Isaac Sturdevant, who was contracted to build the church structure that Robert Mills (later of Washington Monument fame) designed. 

As best I can determine, the wreckage of the theater was still standing, as records show a man was hired to pull down the walls of the theater in March of 1813. That’s quite a scene isn’t it? Citizens laying a pristine cornerstone in the midst of coal-blackened ruins.

Mills had hoped to have a mural painted in the church of Richmond rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the Richmond Theater fire. It never was painted. But the laying of the cornerstone must have stated a similar message–hope emerging out of despair.