The Washington Monument is an obelisk in Washington, D.C. that honors George Washington, the country's first president. The tower is 55 feet (16.8 metres) square at the base and 554 feet 7 inches (169 metres) high, weighing an estimated 91,000 tons and made of granite topped with Maryland marble. It is the world's third-tallest stone monument after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
The monument was built from 1848 to 1884 by architects Henry Bacon and John C. Hazzard. It was originally known as the World's Fair Monument but was later named for President Washington. The pedestal on which it stands covers an area of about 16,000 square feet (1,527 m2).
It was designed by Thomas Jefferson, who also designed the University of Virginia where the monument now stands. When Jefferson died he left his estate to his daughter Mary Eleanor "Nelly" Custis Lewis, who was married to Robert E. Lee. Ms. Lewis brought her husband's entire family to live with her in Washington, D.C., including Mr. Lee's two children from a previous marriage. She wanted them to have equal standing with her own children so they could be educated together at Mrs. Lewis' private school for girls.
The monument commemorating America's first president is still the highest stone edifice and obelisk in the world. The Washington Monument, which is maintained by the National Park Service, is located in the center of the National Mall, between the United States Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Constructed from 1829 to 1854, it was designed by architect Thomas Jefferson with inputs from his friend Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant. The monument was originally intended to be a tribute to George Washington but has also become an iconic image of Washington, D.C.
Its height has been compared to that of a tall building--72 stories at its peak-and it weighs 9,000 tons. The base is about 330 feet on a side and rises over 230 feet above ground level. The main attraction of the monument is its striking design by L'Enfant and Jefferson, especially the latter's spiral stairway that provides access to the top of the structure.
In addition to being one of the most recognizable buildings in the country, the Washington Monument has also been used for various purposes over the years. For example, during the Civil War it was used as a signal post near the apex of its tower where soldiers would mount guards to watch for enemy ships in the harbor. The statue of George Washington on top of the monument was removed in 1852 due to damage caused by vandals and has never been restored.
Washington, George The 555-foot marble obelisk soars over Washington, D.C., and was built to commemorate George Washington, the country's first president. It was designed by French architect Pierre L'Enfant and completed in 1884. An elevator provides visitors with a view of downtown Washington from the top of the monument.
In addition to being a landmark, the Washington Monument is also an iconic part of American history. It was here that Washington delivered his farewell address to the nation on December 13, 1791. The speech would go on to be one of the most important documents in American history as it set forth our current system of government.
You may have seen images of the Washington Monument online or in the news and wondered who it honors. Here are the names of everyone who has been honored at the Washington Monument:
George Washington - First President of the United States
James Monroe - Fourth President of the United States
Andrew Johnson - Eighth President of the United States
Ulysses S. Grant - Sixteenth President of the United States
William Howard Taft - Twenty-fourth President of the United States
More information on the Washington Monument The Washington Monument, which is maintained by the National Park Service, is located in the center of the National Mall, between the United States Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
The Washington Monument was built from 1854 to 1881 by various companies for $1.5 million ($14.5 million today). It was designed by Thomas Jefferson who also designed the University of Virginia at Charlottesville where the monument's granite came from. The monument was modeled after Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza and is an example of Victorian architecture. The design features a tall, thin shaft surrounded by a base with eight large steps leading up to a flat top. The entire structure is covered with marble from the White House quarry in Pennsylvania.
In 1927, the National Park Service was created to preserve federal lands and make them as safe as possible for visitors. The Washington Monument has been preserved for over 100 years now and is still very popular with tourists from all over the world. It is estimated that about five million people visit the monument each year.
The Washington Monument is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.