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  American HistoryUnited States: Local History and DescriptionMiddle Atlantic StatesDistrict of Columbia

Washington MonumentWashington Monument

an obelisk built in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, that stands in Washington, D.C. near the Potomac River

The Washington National Monument Society began raising fund for erection of a monument honoring George Washington in 1833. A design by Robert Mills was accepted, and the federal government approved the project. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, with the same trowel Washington has used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol, but engineers found the ground at the original site too soft and moved the site to the north. Although donations came in from people, companies and nations around the world, the Society was unable to maintain financing, and construction of the monument would start and stop over and over again until Congress voted in 1876 to finish the project at government expense. Actual construction finally began in earnest on August 17, 1880, and was completed on December 6, 1884; it was dedicated on February 21, 1885, and opened to the public on October 9, 1888.

Facts and Figures

Height 555 feet 5-1/8 inches
Length of Each Side at Base 55 feet 1-1/8 inches
Length of Each Side at Base of Pyramidion 34 feet 5-1/2 inches
Height of Pyramidion 55 feet
Thickness of Walls at Base 15 feet
Thickness of Walls at Top 18 inches
Thickness of Pyramidion Walls 7 inches

The outside of the walls are covered with white marble from Maryland.
The inner walls are set with 189 carved memorial stones donated by individuals, societies, cities, states, and other countries.

Number of Steps to Observation Deck 898

Total Cost $1,187,710.31

Official Website

www.nps.gov/wamo


George Washington

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This page was last updated on October 09, 2016.

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