Tuesday, 9 October 2012

On this Day: 9th October 1888, the Washington Monument is officially opened to the public

9th October 1888, the Washington Monument is officially opened to the public

The Washington Monument was officially opened on the 9th October 1888, over 56 years after plans were first drawn up and 40 years after work first commenced.

The Monument, stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first US president, George Washington. 

The monument, an obelisk made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 51⁄8 inches (169.294 m).

 Construction of the monument had began in 1848, but was halted from 1854 to 1877, due to political interference, a lack of funds and the onset of the US Civil War.

A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted. Its original design was by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s, but his design was modified significantly when construction resumed. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885.

Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.

Research courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Shutterstock/ Neftali


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