Featured on the south wall of Memorial Hall is Bro. Allyn Cox’s masterful 47-foot-wide mural of the 1793 Masonic ceremony of dedicating the cornerstone of the United States Capitol. This beautiful painting, installed in 1955, is now in immediate need of restoration.
The painting is being damaged by the wall to which it is affixed. This wall has developed a prominent bulge which is stretching the canvas and causing paint to flake off, as seen in the above closeup of George Washington’s torso. The damaged area is approximately thirty feet wide, passing horizontally through the center of the painting.
As this damage is becoming progressively worse, immediate restoration of the painting and repair of the wall is necessary. It is a sizable undertaking. A conservation firm has been hired to remove the mural, which will be completely restored offsite. The underlying wall will then be analyzed and repaired by the stonemasons who are also employed on our tower work. Finally, the beloved mural will be carefully reinstalled and once again available to the tens of thousands who enjoy it every year.