Historic: Washington Monument

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Historic: Washington Monument Gender: N/A
Washington, D.C.
born on 21 February 1885 at 11:45 (= 11:45 AM )
Place Washington, District of Columbia, 38n54, 77w02
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
News report
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 03°16' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 23°40 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 16°57'

Historic: Washington Monument (2006)
photo: Diliff, license cc-by-sa-3.0


American monument, an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first American president. Standing almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m) tall. It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances, but two are taller when measured above ground, though they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.

Construction of the monument began in 1848, and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, and the intervention of the American Civil War. Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, and other finishing touches were not completed until 1888. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and later resumed with marble from a different source. The original design was by Robert Mills, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk. Despite many proposals to embellish the obelisk, only its original flat top was altered to a pointed marble pyramidion, in 1884. The cornerstone was laid on 4 July 1848; the first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on 7 August 1880; the capstone was set on 6 December 1884; and the completed monument was dedicated on 21 February 1885.

The Washington Monument attracted enormous crowds before it officially opened. For six months after its dedication, 10,041 people climbed the 898 steps and 50 landings to the top. It officially opened on 9 October 1888. 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.

The monument was damaged during the 2011 Virginia earthquake and Hurricane Irene in the same year and remained closed to the public while the structure was assessed and repaired. After 32 months of repairs, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall reopened the Washington Monument to visitors on 12 May 2014.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • compare to chart of Historic: Taipei 101 (born 31 December 2004). Notes: World's tallest structure, 1884-1889

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from "DEDICATED!: The Act Which Completes the Washington Monument," Washington Post, 22 Feb. 1885, p. 1: "The washington Monument was dedicated yesterday, the cermonies occupying the greater portion of the day. They began in the forenoon, at the base of the monument, with addresses by Senator Sherman and Mr. Corcoran, and the presentation of the great obelisk by Col. Casey to President Arthur. . . . At 11 o'clock Senator Sherman advanced to the speaker's stand..." Therefore the addresses began soon after 11am with the dedication by the president taking place last on the agenda, presumably a little before 12 noon.


  • Mundane : Misc. Mundane : Historic milestones (World's tallest structure, 1884-1889)