Washington Monument

Updated on April 9th, 2024 at 07:12 pm

The Washington Monument is built in the form of an obelisk, and it is a part of the National Mall, located in the capital city of the United States, Washington, D.C. This obelisk was erected to honor George Washington. George Washington is considered a father of his country and a renowned military and political leader who was the president of the United States of America from 1775 to 1799.

The Washington Monument is located across from the Lincoln Memorial, and it is mostly made of marble and granite. Bluestone gneiss is also used in its construction. This is the world’s tallest obelisk and one of the world’s tallest stone structures in general. The obelisk is around 555 feet tall, and it is considered the tallest monumental column in the world. Before its completion, the title of the world’s tallest structure was held by the Cologne Cathedral. However, after the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris in 1889, the Cologne Cathedral lost its title.

History of the Washington Monument

The construction of the monument began in 1848, and due to different issues, it was halted for more than 20 years, precisely from 1854 to 1877. One of the primary reasons the construction was halted was because of lack of funds. Apart from funding, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, as well as the American Civil War, has taken its toll on the construction of the obelisk.

The stone structure was completed in 1884, but there was a lot of interior work that had to be done. Many finishing touches weren’t completed until 1888. The original plans, designed by Robert Mills, would include a monumental colonnade around the obelisk. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, the construction proceeds only with the building of the bare obelisk.

Also, the entire monument was supposed to be embellished. However, only the flat top was embellished and altered to a pointed pyramid made of marble. The monument was completed in 1885, and on February 21, it was dedicated to George Washington. It was opened to the public in 1888. In 2011, the Virginia earthquake and Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the monument. The state needed 32 months of extensive repairs to reopen the monument to the public again.

After the death of the first president of the US, there were many proposals and demands to build a monument that would honor him. Political squabbling, as well as the effects of the Civil War, has blocked the completion of the obelisk for 23 years. In the late 19th century, the construction began once again. At the time, George Washington was already considered a national hero, so discussions about whether or not the state should build him a memorial were no longer held.

The monument stands strong today, and it not only honors the first president and father of the US but also represents American virtues such as gratitude, liberty, and patriotism. The elegance and beauty of the obelisk make every American citizen proud. The fifty American flags, where each represents one of the 50 states, are flown around a large circle that is carefully positioned on the monument.

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