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Quincy American Legion post unsure what to do with time capsule, building cornerstone

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 9, 2012 04:00 PM

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Although the Quincy American Legion Post on Mechanic Street came down in September to make way for the Town Brook, the future of several parts of the demolished building are still undecided.

Namely, American Legion leaders have yet to figure out what to do with a time capsule tucked into the building when it was erected in 1934, and a 16 by 20 inch granite cornerstone engraved with the year of the building’s construction.

According to George “Fred” McCray, president of the Quincy American Legion Post 95, the decision is really up to the Legion membership, who will need to be notified by mail and their responses recorded to determine next steps.

The membership will discuss how to go about doing that during their Thursday meeting, but already, there are several options.

The time capsule, which has items from World War I veterans, could be donated to the Quincy Historical Society, McCray said, seeing as the Legion has no permanent home.

As for the cornerstone, local resident Arline Goodman, who settled a lawsuit with the city over the Brook’s relocation, would like to see the cornerstone become a part of the new “pocket park” to be built alongside the brook, marking the place the building once sat.

“I would like to be reassured that this piece of granite will be saved as I watch the American Legion building sadly and slow[ly] be destroyed and before the wrecking ball comes very soon to knock down this historic building,” Arline wrote to the city before the Legion’s destruction. “I hope the City of Quincy will recognize … the World War I veterans who started the post and the many contributions this Post made to this City over the years.”

McCray said he likes the idea of using the stone for the park, but it depends if the Legion decides to put the stone toward a new building.

The issue of a new building itself is still unclear. Although members have approximately $530,000 to put towards a new location – money the city spent to purchase the land from the Legion – McCray said they are still looking for the right place at the right price.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the post must be contained between Wollaston and the MBTA tracks so as not to encroach on other Legion territories.

Until then, members are meeting in a room at Roche Brother’s in Quincy, figuring out what to do with the remains of their historic building.

Yet the city’s attorney Paul Hines said there is no rush.

“We’re not in a position where we need it,” Hines said. “[There] will be some kind of remembrance in the park, a physical memory. If the stone is part of it is up to the American Legion.”

Although Hines said the mayor is supportive of using the cornerstone in the park, the city’s first concerns have been finalizing the settlement agreements with Goodman.

According to Hines, the city had to have the newly agreed improvements at Goodman’s property designed. Now that the city has the final scope of work, the easement documents can be drawn up and the check to Goodman can pass hands.

“We’re following through the steps,” he said.

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