Washington Monument

Robert Mills

View from the Mall

Although various memorials to George Washington were planned in the 18th century, it was not until the centenary of his birth in 1832 that this monument was initiated. Robert Mills won the national competition for his design but the project was plagued with changes and delays, not the least of which was the Civil War. In 1876 Congress made the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers responsible for the monument's completion and after a number of attempts at redesigning the monument, it was only modified by Thomas Lincoln Casey, chief engineer of the U. S. Army. The building was finally completed and dedicated in 1884.
At 555 feet 5½ inches, the Washington Monument is still the tallest masonry structure in the world. However, five years after it was finally built, the Eiffel Tower exceeded its height. The monolithic capstone weighed more than 3000 pounds with a tip of cast aluminum.
The Washington Monument Restoration Project began in 1997 with the upgrading of the elevator and continued through 1998-99 with cleaning and repair of the exterior and interior masonry and historic stones. (These photographs were taken in 2002.)

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© 2002 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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