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Cornerstone Inn


Cornerstone Inn has a long and beautiful history. The ornate Italianate building gracing the square at Washington and North Main streets in Washington, IL has a history as rich as its architecture. Washington native Charles Anthony and German immigrant Henry Denhart built the brick-and-stone structure in 1874 after having co-owned a neighboring dry goods store in the previous decade. Their former business was a meeting spot for a pre-presidential Abraham Lincoln and other politicians. Denhart and Anthony had purchased the store from Richard D. Smith after he was appointed town postmaster by Lincoln. After the Great Depression, the building remained vacant from 1937 to 1948, when Heiple reopened it as Washington State Bank. This version of the bank later relocated to its current site to the west of the square. Several businesses moved in over time, including a barbershop, numerous bars, and a German restaurant called the Rathskeller. Although its beauty was still evident, the building needed a facelift. In 2004, we began the painstaking process of restoring the structure to its original 19th century Italianate glory. A year later, the U.S. Department of Interior granted it a place on the Federal Register of Historic places for its historic and architectural relevance. We at the Cornerstone Inn are proud to occupy a spot in this historically rich edifice.

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