Capitol Stones, unofficial DC monument, slated for removal |

2022-08-27 09:31:46 By : Ms. Zola Liu

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WASHINGTON — Just past the horse stables, down a well-worn trail, and through some brush is a uniquely D.C. monument.

Ancient stones, shorn from the facade of the Capitol during a renovation 62 years ago, hundreds of slabs of marble and sandstone, piled in Rock Creek Park and abandoned.

"It's pretty amazing to see them out here in the wilderness," said David Davidson, a Chevy Chase man who was out in the woods to photograph what has been dubbed the Capitol Stones.

They are an insider's landmark that has garnered 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Fans have posted pictures of walking among the artifacts. Some are faceless; others fascinating.

But a few months ago, the Architect of the Capitol fenced off the historic ruin. Prohibited by law from discarding the stones, the manager of the Capitol facilities is planning to spirit the stones off to a warehouse at Ft. Meade -- home of the NSA -- and seal them from public view.

"These are stones that have become their own monument. That out to be enough to leave them where they are," said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, (D-DC). She's demanding a meeting with the National Park Service and the Architect of the Capitol.

Norton said she believes the Park Service may think the stones are a safety risk. There are also plans to expand the neighboring maintenance facility and return the rest of the area to a more natural state.

As is all too common with government agencies in Washington, when they don't like the news, they try to ignore it. The Park Service is referring questions to the Architect of the Capitol. And the Architect of the Capitol is not responding to messages.

Thirty years ago, the National Arboretum installed the old Capitol Columns on its grounds, and they've become a D.C. icon.

"They're much more photogenic than this," said Davidson, as he struggled to get a good shot of the Capitol Stones through the new chain link fence.

The Capitol Stones may never be that beautiful. But as Delegate Norton wrote: they're rocks, well suited to withstand the weather, climbing children, and the weight of history

FULL VIDEO: Amazing complete show of Apollo 11 moon landing on the Washington Monument

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