President Eisenhower Trowel

Artifact Details

The building that President Eisenhower laid the cornerstone for would later become known as the Old Headquarters Building.

The CIA celebrated the construction of its new Headquarters building at Langley, Virginia, with a cornerstone-laying ceremony on 3 November 1959.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower used this trowel to lay the cornerstone.  Construction of the 1.3-million-square-foot facility was completed in late 1961.

Select documents and other materials of historic interest are sealed within the cornerstone.  Items include:

  • A 1944 memorandum from William J. Donovan to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The memo discussed the need to establish a permanent centralized intelligence service.
  • President Harry S. Truman’s 1946 Executive Letter that established the National Intelligence Authority and the Central Intelligence Group.
  • An aerial photograph of the CIA building site.

Artifact Specs

27.8 cm x 7.2 cm x 5.5 cm

(L x W x H)

Learn More

The CIA Campus: The Story of Original Headquarters Building