Newton J. Tharp in the News

The San Francisco Call
September 2, 1910

Newton Tharp's Name is Erased: New Hall of Justice Cornerstone Will Bear Only Date of Inscription

Mayor and Commissioner Deny Intending Disrespect to the Late City Architect

The name of Newton J. Tharp, former city architect, who died in office, will not appear upon the cornerstone of the new hall of justice. Mayor McCarthy's name is likewise not to appear. Nobody's name is to be on the monument.

Just a general order affecting the cornerstones of all city buildings -- schools, hospitals, jails, halls of justice, in fact, all municipal buildings, issued by the department of public works and with the consent of the mayor, Commisioner Newsom and city Architect Fischer, to the effect that these stones should bear simply a date inscription did the business.

Tharp's Name on the Stone

It is true a cornerstone had been prepared bearing Tharp's name. commissioner Newsom said:

"We agreed that it was best there should be no personal inscriptions placed on any of the cornerstones. We had to make this rule, for improvement clubs were constantly coming in with suggestions as to neighborhood schools, etc. We might just as well carve the name of the present city architect on the buildings now going up as put that of Mr. Tharp on the cornerstone of the hall.

"I knew Mr. Tharp personally and had a high regard for him. I don't think the mayor had any knowledge of the amtter one way or another. He never said anythign to me about it. I believe former city Architect Rixford who was Tharp's brother in law, had a stone prepared bearing th latter's name, but I never saw it. I think Fischer did.

"But it is not customary nor appropriate to ahve the names of individuals inscribed on public buildings and in accordance with this rule Fischer ordered just the date in Roman letters carved on the stone."

Blames Predecessors

"I have no knowledge of the matter," said Mayor McCarthy. "You had better see the officials at the board of works.

"As for the hall fo justice," continued the mayor, "wwe have had a great deal of trouble with that building, particularly with the steel construction. I know this was one of our inheritances from the last administration,but whose fault it was I am not prepared to say.

"As for placing the remains of Mr. Tharp in the cornerstone, the hall of justice is not a cemetery."

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