Two cornerstones grace the front of Saint Elias Maronite Church in Birmingham’s Glen Iris neighborhood. It is not the case that one was moved from another location, rather they were both obtained for the present building.
One is in English one is in Arabic, both are from Lebanon. The parish history reports that the pastor, Joseph Abi-Chedid journeyed with Yousef Habshey and Sam Boackle to purchase marble from the Habshey family quarry. As one says clearly in English “This is a Lebanese stone.”
It is also stated that the design, commissioned from the local firm of Harry Pembleton and Edgar Mims was “altered greatly before construction.” One can’t help but wonder if one of the alterations was to open up more of the wall to allow the very large windows that the building’s steel frame permitted.
Read this first post for more on this series on Birmingham churches and their cornerstones.