Where is the cornerstone of the UN headquarters in New York?
Last Updated: Feb 04, 2020     Views: 969

Picture of the UNHQ cornerstone, 1949, UN Photo 76194

According to a fact sheet on the UN website about the UN headquarters complex, "The cornerstone is underground east of the Library Building on the southern boundary of the UN site."

"United Nations" is etched on the stone in the 5 official languages, as well as the year in Roman numerals (MCMXLIX). A box containing copies of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as a copy of the program for the dedication ceremony was encased by the cornerstone.

The cornerstone ceremony was held on 24 October 1949 at a plenary meeting of the General Assembly (A/PV.237). This marked the 4th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. 

Cornerstone dedication ceremony, UN Photo 36602

President Harry S. Truman of the United States, UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie, New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer, and New York Governor Thomas Dewey spoke at the ceremony, as did the President of the General Assembly Carlos P. Romulo of the Philippines.  According to the press release, 10,000 people attended the ceremony.

A photo from 1950 shows the cornerstone above an entrance to the Secretariat building on 42nd St., however later construction has obscured the location of the cornerstone and it is no longer visible from the street.

Image of cornerstone, 1950, UN Photo 187209

Feb 04, 2020     969


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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