Washington Monument is 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 President of
the United States. Located 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 according to the
National Geodetic Survey
National Geodetic Survey (measured 2013–14) or 555 feet
5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall according to the
National Park Service
National Park Service (measured 1884).[A] It is the tallest monumental
column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian
entrances.[B] It was the tallest structure in the world from 1884 to
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. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the
first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on August 7, 1880; the
capstone was set on December 6, 1884; the completed monument was
dedicated on February 21, 1885; and officially opened October 9,
Washington Monument is a hollow Egyptian style stone obelisk with
a 500-foot (152.4 m) tall column and a 55-foot (16.8 m) tall
pyramidion. Its walls are 15 feet (4.6 m) thick at its base and
1 1⁄2 feet (0.46 m) thick at their top. The marble
pyramidion has thin walls only 7 inches (18 cm) thick supported
by six arches, two between opposite walls that cross at the center of
the pyramidion and four smaller corner arches. The top of the
pyramidion is a large marble capstone with a small aluminum pyramid at
its apex with inscriptions on all four sides. The lowest 150 feet
(45.7 m) of the walls, constructed during the first phase
1848–54, are composed of a pile of bluestone gneiss rubble stones
(not finished stones) held together by a large amount of mortar with a
facade of semi-finished marble stones about 1 1⁄4 feet
(0.4 m) thick. The upper 350 feet (106.7 m) of the walls,
constructed during the second phase 1880–84, are composed of
finished marble surface stones, half of which project into the walls,
partially backed by finished granite stones.
The interior is occupied by iron stairs that spiral up the walls with
an elevator in the center, both supported by eight iron columns, which
do not support the stone structure. The stairs contain fifty sections,
most on the north and south walls, with many long landings stretching
between them along the east and west walls. These landings allowed
many inscribed memorial stones of various materials and sizes to be
easily viewed while the stairs were accessible (until 1976) plus one
memorial stone between stairs that is difficult to view. The
pyramidion has eight observation windows, two per side, and eight red
aircraft warning lights, two per side. Two aluminum lightning rods
connected via the elevator support columns to ground water protect the
monument. The monument's present foundation is 37 feet (11.3 m)
thick, consisting of half of its original bluestone gneiss rubble
encased in concrete. At the northeast corner of the foundation, 21
feet (6.4 m) below ground, is the marble cornerstone, including a
zinc case filled with memorabilia. Fifty American flags fly 24
hours a day on a large circle of flag poles centered on the
monument. In 2001 a temporary screening facility was added to the
entrance to prevent a terrorist attack. In 2011 an earthquake
slightly damaged the monument, mostly the pyramidion.
1.2 Proposals for a memorial
1.4.1 Excavation and initial construction
1.4.2 Donations run out
1.4.3 Post–Civil War
1.6 Later history
1.6.1 2011 earthquake damage
2.2 Memorial stones
2.4 Lightning protection
2.8 Stairs and elevator
2.10 Vesica piscis
2.11 Miscellaneous details
4 See also
7 External links
George Washington (1732–99), hailed as the father of his country,
and as the leader who was "first in war, first in peace and first in
the hearts of his countrymen" (in eulogy by Maj. Gen. 'Light-Horse
Harry' Lee at Washington's funeral, December 26, 1799), was the
dominant military and political leader of the new United States of
America from 1775 to 1799. Even his former enemy King George III
called him "the greatest character of the age."
At his death in 1799 he left a critical legacy; he exemplified the
core ideals of the
American Revolution and the new nation: republican
virtue and devotion to civic duty. Washington was the unchallenged
public icon of American military and civic patriotism. He was also
identified with the Federalist Party, which lost control of the
national government in 1800 to the Jeffersonian Republicans, who were
reluctant to celebrate the hero of the opposition party.
Proposals for a memorial
Starting with victory in the Revolution, there were many proposals to
build a monument to Washington. After his death, Congress authorized a
suitable memorial in the national capital, but the decision was
reversed when the
Democratic-Republican Party (Jeffersonian
Republicans) took control of Congress in 1801. The Republicans
were dismayed that Washington had become the symbol of the Federalist
Party; furthermore the values of Republicanism seemed hostile to the
idea of building monuments to powerful men. They also blocked his
image on coins or the celebration of his birthday. Further political
squabbling, along with the North–South division on the Civil War,
blocked the completion of the
Washington Monument until the late 19th
century. By that time, Washington had the image of a national hero who
could be celebrated by both North and South, and memorials to him were
no longer controversial.
As early as 1783, the
Continental Congress had resolved "That an
equestrian statue of
George Washington be erected at the place where
the residence of Congress shall be established." The proposal called
for engraving on the statue which explained it had been erected "in
honor of George Washington, the illustrious
Commander-in-Chief of the
Armies of the United States of America during the war which vindicated
and secured their liberty, sovereignty, and independence."
Currently, there are two equestrian statues of President Washington in
Washington, D.C. One is located in
Washington Circle at the
intersection of the
Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods at the
north end of the
George Washington University, and the other is in the
gardens of the National Cathedral.
Ten days after Washington's death, a Congressional committee
recommended a different type of monument. John Marshall, a
Representative from Virginia (who later became Chief Justice of the
United States) proposed that a tomb be erected within the Capitol.
However, a lack of funds, disagreement over what type of memorial
would best honor the country's first president, and the Washington
family's reluctance to move his body prevented progress on any
Sketch of the proposed
Washington Monument by architect Robert Mills
Progress toward a memorial finally began in 1833. That year a large
group of concerned citizens formed the Washington National Monument
Society. In 1836, after they had raised $28,000 in donations
(equivalent to $1,000,000 in 2016), they announced a competition for
the design of the memorial.:chp 1
On September 23, 1835, the board of managers of the society described
It is proposed that the contemplated monument shall be like him in
whose honor it is to be constructed, unparalleled in the world, and
commensurate with the gratitude, liberality, and patriotism of the
people by whom it is to be erected ... [It] should blend
stupendousness with elegance, and be of such magnitude and beauty as
to be an object of pride to the American people, and of admiration to
all who see it. Its material is intended to be wholly American, and to
be of marble and granite brought from each state, that each state may
participate in the glory of contributing material as well as in funds
to its construction.
The society held a competition for designs in 1836. In 1845 the winner
was announced to be architect Robert Mills.:2-2 The citizens of
Baltimore had chosen him to build a monument to Washington, and he had
designed a tall Greek column surmounted by a statue of the President.
Mills also knew the capital well, having just been chosen Architect of
Public Buildings for Washington. His design called for a circular
colonnaded building 250 feet (76 m) in diameter and 100 feet
(30 m) high from which sprang a four sided obelisk 500 feet
(150 m) high, for a total elevation of 600 feet (180 m). A
massive cylindrical pillar 70 feet (21 m) in diameter supported
the obelisk at the center of the building. The obelisk was to be 70
feet (21 m) square[C] at the base and 40 feet (12 m) square
at the top with a slightly peaked roof. Both the obelisk and pillar
were hollow within which a railway spiraled up. The obelisk had no
doorway — instead its interior was entered from the interior of the
pillar upon which it was mounted. The pillar had an "arched way" at
its base. The top of the portico of the building would feature
Washington standing in a chariot holding the reins of six horses.
Inside the colonnade would be statues of 30 prominent Revolutionary
War heroes as well as statues of the signers of the Declaration of
Criticism of Mills's design and its estimated price tag of more than
$1 million (in 1848, equivalent to $20,000,000 in 2016) caused the
society to hesitate. On April 11, 1848 the society decided, due to a
lack of funds, to build only the obelisk. Mills's 1848 obelisk was to
be 500 feet tall, 55 feet (17 m) square at the base and 35 feet
(11 m) square at the top. It had two massive doorways, each 15
feet (4.6 m) high and 6 feet (1.8 m) wide, on the east and
west sides of its base.:15, 21 Surrounding each doorway were
raised jambs, a heavy pediment, and entablature within which was
carved an Egyptian-style winged sun and asps.:23:353+ Some
of these details can be seen in the 1860 photograph below at Donations
run out, after clicking on the image and viewing the original file at
its highest magnification. This original design conformed to a massive
temple which was to have surrounded the base of the obelisk, but
because it was never built, the architect of the second phase of
Thomas Lincoln Casey
Thomas Lincoln Casey smoothed down the projecting jambs,
pediment and entablature in 1885, walled up the west entrance with
marble forming an alcove, and reduced the east entrance to 8 feet
(2.4 m) high.:90–91 The western alcove has contained a
bronze statue of Washington since 1992–93. Also during 1992–93 a
limestone surround was installed at the east elevator entrance
decorated with a winged sun and asps to mimic Mills's 1848 design.
West side of
Jefferson Pier with
Washington Monument in background
Washington Monument was originally intended to be located at the
point at which a line running directly south from the center of the
White House crossed a line running directly west from the center of
the Capitol. Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's 1791 "Plan of the city
intended for the permanent seat of the government of the United
States ..." designated this point as the location of the
equestrian statue of
George Washington that the Continental Congress
had voted for in 1783.[D] The ground at the intended location
proved to be too unstable to support a structure as heavy as the
planned obelisk, so the monument's location was moved 390 feet
(118.87 m) east-southeast.[E] At that originally intended site
there now stands a small monolith called the Jefferson Pier.
This offset caused the
McMillan Plan to specify that the Lincoln
Memorial should be "placed on the main axis of the Capitol and the
Monument", about 1° south of due west of the Capitol or the monument,
not due west of the Capitol or the monument.[F]
Excavation and initial construction
Construction of the monument began in 1848 with the excavation of the
site, the laying of the cornerstone on the prepared bed, and laying
the original foundation around and on top of the cornerstone, before
the construction of its massive walls began the next year.:17–21
Even though slave labor is not mentioned, no paid laborers whatsoever
are listed among the small paid labor force of 21 used to construct
the foundation in 1848, which included 14 stonemasons and 2
stonecutters.:18 In contrast, the maximum work force during the
second phase was 170, including 100 stonecutters, with laborers second
Washington Monument Historian John Steele
Gordon stated "I can't say for certain, but the stonemasonry was
pretty highly skilled, so it's unlikely that slaves would've been
doing it. The stones were cut by stonecutters, which is highly skilled
work; and the stones were hoisted by means of steam engines, so you'd
need a skilled engineer and foreman for stuff like that. Tending the
steam engine, building the cast-iron staircase inside — that wasn't
grunt work." According to historian Jesse Holland, it is very
likely that African-American slaves were among the construction
workers, given that slavery prevailed in Washington and its
surrounding states at that time, and slaves were commonly used in
public and private construction.
Gordon's arguments are valid for the second phase (1879–84) when
every stone laid required a skilled stonemason. However, Holland's
views are valid for the first phase (1848–54) because much of its
construction only required unskilled manual labor, assisted only by a
steam engine to lift the stones because many weighed several tons
each. Only a small number of stones used in the first phase required a
skilled stonemason, the marble blocks on the outer surface of the
monument (their inner surfaces were left very rough) and those gneiss
stones that form the rough inner walls of the monument (all other
surfaces of those inner stones within the walls were left jagged). The
vast majority of all gneiss stones laid during the first phase, those
between the outer and inner surfaces of the walls, from very large to
very small jagged stones, form a pile of rubble held together by a
large amount of mortar. The top surface of this rubble can be seen
below at Walls in an 1880 drawing made just before the polished/rough
marble and granite stones used in the second phase were laid atop it.
The original foundation below the walls was made of layered gneiss
rubble, but without the massive stones used within the walls. Most of
the gneiss stones used during the first phase were obtained from
quarries in the Potomac Valley. Only the marble stones of the first
and second phases came from Maryland quarries about 20 miles
(30 km) north of downtown Baltimore.
On July 4, 1848, the Freemasons, an organization to which Washington
belonged, laid the cornerstone (symbolically, not physically).:45,
136–143 According to Joseph R. Chandler::136, 140–141
No more Washingtons shall come in our time ... But his virtues are
stamped on the heart of mankind. He who is great in the battlefield
looks upward to the generalship of Washington. He who grows wise in
counsel feels that he is imitating Washington. He who can resign power
against the wishes of a people, has in his eye the bright example of
Two years later, on a torrid July 4, 1850,
George Washington Parke
Custis, the adopted son of
George Washington and grandson of Martha
Washington, dedicated a stone from the people of the District of
Columbia to the Monument at a ceremony that President Zachary Taylor
attended five days before he died from food poisoning.
Donations run out
The partially completed monument, photographed by Mathew Brady; circa
Construction continued until 1854, when donations ran out and the
monument had reached a height of 152 feet (46.3 m). At that time
a memorial stone that was contributed by Pope Pius IX, called the
Pope's Stone, was destroyed by members of the anti-Catholic, nativist
American Party, better known as the "Know-Nothings", during the early
morning hours of March 6, 1854 (a priest replaced it in 1982). This
caused public contributions to the Washington National Monument
Society to cease, so they appealed to Congress for
money.:25–26:16, 215, 222–3
The request had just reached the floor of the House of Representatives
when the Know-Nothing Party seized control of the Society on February
22, 1855. Congress immediately tabled its expected contribution of
$200,000 to the Society, effectively halting the appropriation. During
its tenure, the Know-Nothing Society added only two courses of
masonry, or four feet, to the monument using rejected masonry it found
on site, increasing the height of the shaft to 156 feet. The original
Society refused to recognize the illegal takeover, so two Societies
existed side by side until 1858. With the Know-Nothing Party
disintegrating and its inability to secure contributions toward
building the monument, it surrendered its possession of the monument
to the original Society on October 20, 1858. To prevent future
takeovers, Congress incorporated the Society on February 22,
Interest in the monument grew after the Civil War. Engineers studied
the foundation several times to determine if it was strong enough. In
1876, the Centennial of the Declaration of Independence, Congress
agreed to appropriate another $200,000 to resume construction.
Before work could begin again, arguments about the most appropriate
design resumed. Many people thought a simple obelisk, one without the
colonnade, would be too bare. Architect Mills was reputed to have said
omitting the colonnade would make the monument look like "a stalk of
asparagus"; another critic said it offered "little ... to be
Monument plans and timeline of construction
This attitude led people to submit alternative designs. Both the
Washington National Monument Society and Congress held discussions
about how the monument should be finished. The society considered five
new designs, concluding that the one by
William Wetmore Story
William Wetmore Story seemed
"vastly superior in artistic taste and beauty." Congress deliberated
over those five as well as Mills's original. While it was deciding, it
ordered work on the obelisk to continue. Finally, the members of the
society agreed to abandon the colonnade and alter the obelisk so it
conformed to classical Egyptian proportions.
Construction resumed in 1879 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel
Thomas Lincoln Casey
Thomas Lincoln Casey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Casey
redesigned the foundation, strengthening it so it could support a
structure that ultimately weighed more than 40,000 tons. The first
stone atop the unfinished stump was laid August 7, 1880 in a small
ceremony attended by President Rutherford B. Hayes, Casey and a few
others. The president placed a small coin on which he had scratched
his initials and the date in the bed of wet cement at the 150-foot
level before the first stone was laid on top of it.:76 Casey found
92 memorial stones (presented stones) already inlaid into the interior
walls of the first phase of construction. Before construction
continued he temporarily removed eight stones at the 150-foot level so
that the walls at that level could be sloped outward, producing
thinner second-phase walls. He inserted those stones and most of the
remaining memorial stones stored in the lapidarium into the interior
walls during 1885–89.:11–17 The bottom third of the monument
is a slightly lighter shade than the rest of the construction because
the marble was obtained from different quarries.
P.H. McLaughlin setting the aluminum apex with Thomas Lincoln Casey
Washington Monument almost complete around 1880
The building of the monument proceeded quickly after Congress had
provided sufficient funding. In four years, it was completed, with the
100-ounce (2.83 kg) aluminum apex/lightning-rod being put in
place on December 6, 1884. The apex was the largest single piece
of aluminum cast at the time, when aluminum commanded a price
comparable to silver. Two years later, the Hall–Héroult process
made aluminum easier to produce and the price of aluminum plummeted,
making the once-valuable apex more ordinary, though it still provided
a lustrous, non-rusting apex that served as the original lightning
rod. The monument opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
The Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. Over 800 people
were present on the monument grounds to hear speeches during a frigid
day by Ohio Senator John Sherman, the Rev. Henderson Suter, William
Wilson Corcoran (of the Washington National Monument Society) read by
Dr. James C. Welling because Corcoran was unable to attend, Freemason
Myron M. Parker, Col.
Thomas Lincoln Casey
Thomas Lincoln Casey of the Army Corps of
Engineers, and President Chester A. Arthur.:104 President
I do now .... in behalf of the people, receive this monument .... and
declare it dedicated from this time forth to the immortal name and
memory of George Washington.
After the speeches Lieutenant-General
Philip Sheridan led a
procession, which included the dignitaries and the crowd, past the
Executive Mansion, now the White House, then via Pennsylvania Avenue
to the east main entrance of the Capitol, where President Arthur
received passing troops. Then, in the House Chamber, the president,
his Cabinet, diplomats and others listened to Representative John
Davis Long read a speech written a few months earlier by Robert C.
Winthrop, formerly the Speaker of the House of Representatives when
the cornerstone was laid 37 years earlier, but now too ill to
personally deliver his speech.:234–260 A final speech was given
John W. Daniel
John W. Daniel of Virginia. The festivities concluded that evening
with fireworks, both aerial and ground displays.:260–285
Diagram of the Principal High Buildings of the Old World, 1884. The
Washington Monument is the tallest structure represented.
At the time of its completion, it was the tallest building in the
world, a title it retained until the
Eiffel Tower was completed in
1889. It is the tallest building in Washington, D.C. The
Heights of Buildings Act of 1910
Heights of Buildings Act of 1910 restricts new building heights to no
more than 20 feet (6.1 m) greater than the width of the adjacent
street. This monument is vastly taller than the obelisks around
the capitals of Europe and in
Egypt and Ethiopia, but ordinary antique
obelisks were quarried as a monolithic block of stone, and were
therefore seldom taller than approximately 100 feet (30 m).
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. After the elevator that had been
used to raise building materials was altered to carry passengers, the
number of visitors grew rapidly, and an average of 55,000 people per
month were going to the top by 1888. The annual visitor count
peaked between 1979 and 1997, where an average of 1.1 million visitors
visited annually; however, from 2005 to 2010, the Washington Monument
has had an average of only 631,000 visitors each year. As with all
historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the national
memorial was listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places on
October 15, 1966.
In the early 1900s, material started oozing out between the outer
stones of the first construction period below the 150-foot mark, and
was referred to by tourists as "geological tuberculosis". This was
caused by the weathering of the cement and rubble filler between the
outer and inner walls. As the lower section of the monument was
exposed to cold and hot and damp and dry weather conditions, the
material dissolved and worked its way through the cracks between the
stones of the outer wall, solidifying as it dripped down their outer
The monument undergoing restoration in 1999
For ten hours in December 1982, the
Washington Monument and eight
tourists were held hostage by a nuclear arms protester, Norman Mayer,
claiming to have explosives in a van he drove to the monument's base.
U.S. Park Police
U.S. Park Police shot and killed Mayer. The monument was undamaged in
the incident, and it was discovered later that Mayer did not have
explosives. After this incident, the surrounding grounds were modified
in places to restrict the possible unauthorized approach of motor
The monument underwent an extensive restoration project between 1998
and 2001. During this time it was completely covered in scaffolding
designed by the American architect
Michael Graves (who was also
responsible for the interior changes). The project included
cleaning, repairing and repointing the monument's exterior and
interior stonework. The stone in publicly accessible interior spaces
was encased in glass to prevent vandalism, while new windows with
narrower frames were installed (to increase the viewing space). New
exhibits celebrating the life of George Washington, and the monument's
place in history, were also added.
A temporary interactive visitors center, dubbed the "Discovery Channel
Center" was also constructed during the project. The center provided a
simulated ride to the top of the monument, and shared information with
visitors during phases in which the monument was closed. The
majority of the project's phases were completed by summer 2000,
allowing the monument to reopen July 31, 2000. The monument
temporarily closed again on December 4, 2000 to allow a new elevator
cab to be installed, completing the final phase of the restoration
project. The new cab included glass windows, allowing visitors to see
some of the 194 memorial stones embedded in the monument's walls. The
installation of the cab took much longer than anticipated, and the
monument did not reopen until February 22, 2002. The final cost of the
restoration project was $10.5 million.
On September 7, 2004 the monument closed for a $15 million renovation,
which included numerous security upgrades and redesign of the monument
grounds by landscape architect Laurie Olin. The renovations were due
partly to security concerns following the
September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks and the
start of the War on Terror. The monument reopened April 1, 2005, while
the surrounding grounds remained closed until the landscape was
finished later that summer.
2011 earthquake damage
Crack in a stone at the top of the monument after the 2011 Virginia
Repairs on the
Washington Monument in 2013
On August 23, 2011, the
Washington Monument sustained damage during
the 5.8 magnitude 2011 Virginia earthquake; over 150 cracks were
found in the monument. A
National Park Service
National Park Service spokesperson
reported that inspectors discovered a crack near the top of the
structure, and announced that the monument would be closed
indefinitely. A block in the pyramidion also was partially
dislodged, and pieces of stone, stone chips, mortar, and paint chips
came free of the monument and "littered" the interior stairs and
observation deck. The Park Service said it was bringing in two
structural engineering firms (Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
and Tipping Mar Associates) with extensive experience in historic
buildings and earthquake-damaged structures to assess the
Officials said an examination of the monument's exterior revealed a
"debris field" of mortar and pieces of stone around the base of the
monument, and several "substantial" pieces of stone had fallen inside
the memorial. A crack in the central stone of the west face of the
pyramidion was 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and 4 feet (1.2 m)
long. Park Service inspectors also discovered that the
elevator system had been damaged, and was operating only to the
250-foot (76 m) level, but was soon repaired.
On September 27, 2011,
Denali National Park ranger Brandon Latham
arrived to assist four climbers belonging to a "difficult access" team
from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates. The reason for the
inspection was the park agency's suspicion that there were more cracks
on the monument's upper section not visible from the inside. The
agency said it filled the cracks that occurred on August 23. After
Hurricane Irene hit the area on August 27, water was discovered inside
the memorial, leading the Park Service to suspect there was more
undiscovered damage. The rappellers used radios to report what
they found to engineering experts on the ground. Wiss, Janney,
Elstner climber Dave Megerle took three hours to set up the rappelling
equipment and set up a barrier around the monument's lightning rod
system atop the pyramidion; it was the first time the hatch in the
pyramidion had been open since 2000.
The external inspection of the monument was completed October 5, 2011.
In addition to the 4-foot (1.2 m) long west crack, the inspection
found several corner cracks and surface spalls (pieces of stone broken
loose) at or near the top of the monument, and more loss of joint
mortar lower down the monument. The full report was issued December
2011. Bob Vogel, Superintendent of the
National Mall and Memorial
Parks, emphasized that the monument was not in danger of collapse.
"It's structurally sound and not going anywhere", he told the national
media at a press conference on September 26, 2011.
More than $200,000 was spent between August 24 and September 26
inspecting the structure. The
National Park Service
National Park Service said that it
would soon begin sealing the exterior cracks on the monument to
protect it from rain and snow.
On July 9, 2012, the
National Park Service
National Park Service announced that the monument
would be closed for repairs until 2014. The National Park Service
hired construction management firm Hill International in conjunction
with joint-venture partner Louis Berger Group to provide coordination
between the designer, Wiss, Janney, and Elstner Associates, the
general contractor Perini, and numerous stakeholders. NPS said a
portion of the plaza at the base of the monument would be removed and
scaffolding constructed around the exterior. In July 2013, lighting
was added to the scaffolding. Some stone pieces saved during the
2011 inspection will be refastened to the monument, while "Dutchman
patches"[G] will be used in other places. Several of the stone lips
that help hold the pyramidion's 2,000-pound (910 kg) exterior
slabs in place were also damaged, so engineers will install metal
brackets to more securely fasten them to the monument.
National Park Service
National Park Service reopened the
Washington Monument to visitors
on May 12, 2014, eight days ahead of schedule. Repairs to the
monument cost US$15,000,000, with taxpayers funding $7.5 million
of the cost and
David Rubenstein funding the other $7.5 million.
At the reopening Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Today show
weatherman Al Roker, and
American Idol Season 12 winner Candice Glover
The monument continues to be plagued by problems since the earthquake,
including in January 2017 when the lights illuminating it went
out. The monument was closed again in September 2016 due to
reliability issues with the elevator system. On December 2, 2016,
National Park Service
National Park Service announced that the monument would be closed
until 2019 in order to modernize the elevator. The $2 to 3 million
project will correct the elevator's ongoing mechanical, electrical and
computer issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17.
National Park Service
National Park Service has also requested funding in its FY 2017
President's Budget Request to construct a permanent screening facility
for the Washington Monument.
The cornerstone was laid with great ceremony at the northeast corner
of the lowest course or step of the old foundation on July 4, 1848.
Robert Mills, the architect of the monument, stated in September 1848,
"The foundations are now brought up nearly to the surface of the
ground; the second step being nearly completed, which covers up the
corner stone.":20 Therefore, the cornerstone was laid below the
1848 ground level. In 1880, the ground level was raised 17 feet
(5.2 m) to the base of the shaft by the addition of a 30-foot
(9.1 m) wide earthen embankment encircling the reinforced
foundation, widened another 30 feet in 1881, and then the knoll was
constructed in 1887–88.:B-36–B-39 :70, 95–96 If the
cornerstone was not moved during the strengthening of the foundation
in 1879–80, its upper surface would now be 21 feet (6.4 m)
below the pavement just outside the northeast corner of the shaft. It
would now be sandwiched between the concrete slab under the old
foundation and the concrete buttress completely encircling what
remains of the old foundation. During the strengthening process, about
half by volume of the periphery of the lowest seven of eight courses
or steps of the old foundation (gneiss rubble) was removed to provide
good footing for the buttress. Although a few diagrams, pictures and
descriptions of this process exist, the fate of the cornerstone is not
mentioned.:2-7–2-8, 3-3–3-5, 4-3–4-4, B-11–B-18, figs
2.5–2.7, 3.2–3.6, 3.13, 4.8–4.11:67–73
The cornerstone was a 24,500-pound (11,100 kg) marble block 2.5
feet (0.76 m) high and 6.5 feet (2.0 m) square with a large
hole for a zinc case filled with memorabilia. The hole was covered by
a copper plate inscribed with the date of the Declaration of
Independence (July 4, 1776), the date the cornerstone was laid (July
4, 1848), and the names of the managers of the Washington National
Monument Society. The memorabilia in the zinc case included items
associated with the monument, the city of Washington, the national
government, state governments, benevolent societies, and George
Washington, plus miscellaneous publications, both governmental and
commercial, a coin set, and a Bible, totaling 73 items or collections
of items, as well as 71 newspapers containing articles relating to
George Washington or the monument.:app C:pp 43–46, 109–166
The ceremony began with a parade of dignitaries in carriages, marching
troops, fire companies, and benevolent societies.:chp
2:44–48:16–17, 45–47 A long oration was delivered by the
Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert C.
Winthrop.:113–130 Then, the cornerstone was pronounced sound
Masonic ceremony using George Washington's
apron and sash, as well as other
Masonic symbols. In attendance were
James K. Polk
James K. Polk and other federal, state and local government
officials, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Mrs. Dolley Madison, Mrs. John
Quincy Adams, and
George Washington Parke Custis, among 15,000 to
20,000 others, including a bald eagle. The ceremony ended with
fireworks that evening.
Memorial stone from
Utah representing the former State of Deseret
States, cities, foreign countries, benevolent societies, other
organizations, and individuals have contributed 194 memorial stones,
all inserted into the east and west interior walls above stair
landings or levels for easy viewing, except one on the south interior
wall between stairs that is difficult to view. The sources disagree on
the number of stones for two reasons: whether one or both "height
stones" are included, and stones not yet on display at the time of a
source's publication cannot be included. The "height stones" refer to
two stones that indicate height: during the first phase of
construction a stone with an inscription that includes the phrase
"from the foundation to this height 100 feet" was installed just below
the 80–90-foot stairway and high above the 60–70-foot
stairway;:sheet 25:52 during the second phase of construction a
stone with a horizontal line and the phrase "top of statue on Capitol"
was installed on the 330-foot level.:sheet 30
The Historic Structure Report (HSR, 2004) named 194 "memorial stones"
by level, including both height stones.:4-17–4-20, 5-6, "194" on
4-17 Jacob (2005) described in detail and pictured 193 "commemorative
stones", including the 100-foot stone but not the Capitol
stone.:"193" on 1 The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS,
1994) showed the location of 193 "memorial stones", but did not
describe or name any. HABS showed both height stones, but did not show
one stone not yet installed in 1994.:sheets 22–25, 28–30
Olszewski (1971) named 190 "memorial stones" by level, including the
Capitol stone but not the 100-foot stone. Olszewski did not include
three stones not yet installed in 1971.:chp 6, app D, "190" in chp
Of 194 stones, 95 are marble, 41 are granite, 30 are limestone, 9 are
sandstone, with 19 miscellaneous types, including combinations of the
aforesaid and those whose materials are not identified. Unusual
materials include native copper (Michigan),:147 pipestone
(Minnesota),:153 petrified wood (Arizona),:213 and jadeite
(Alaska).:220 The stones vary in size from about 1.5 feet
(0.46 m) square (Carthage)[H] to about 6 by 8 feet (1.8 m
× 2.4 m) (
Philadelphia and New York City).:3, 90, 124,
Utah contributed one stone as a territory and another as a state, both
with inscriptions that include its pre-territorial name, Deseret, both
located on the 220-foot level.:154–155
A stone at the 240-foot level of the monument is inscribed in Welsh:
Fy Iaith, Fy Ngwlad, Fy Nghenedl, Cymry am byth (Our language, our
country, our birthplace, Wales forever). The stone, imported from
Wales, was donated by Welsh citizens of New York.:170 Two
other stones were presented by the Sunday Schools of the Methodist
Episcopal Church in New York and the Sabbath School children of the
Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia—the former quotes from
the Bible verse Proverbs 10:7, "The memory of the just is
Another inscription, this one sent by the Ottoman government,:128
combines the works of two eminent calligraphers: an imperial tughra by
Mustafa Rakım's student Haşim Efendi, and an inscription in jalī
ta'līq script by Kadıasker Mustafa İzzet Efendi, the calligrapher
who wrote the giant medallions at
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
One stone was donated by the
Ryukyu Kingdom and brought back by
Commodore Matthew C. Perry, but never arrived in Washington (it
was replaced in 1989).:210 Many of the stones donated for the
monument carried inscriptions which did not commemorate George
Washington. For example, one from the Templars of Honor and Temperance
stated "We will not make, buy, sell, or use as a beverage, any
spiritous or malt liquors, Wine, Cider, or any other Alcoholic
George Washington himself had owned a whiskey
distillery which operated at
Mount Vernon after he left the
Aluminum apex showing inscriptions on its east (left) and north
(right) faces. Lightning rods not shown.
The aluminum apex, at the time a rare metal as valuable as silver, was
William Frishmuth of Philadelphia. At the time of casting,
it was the largest piece of aluminum in the world. Before the
installation it was put on public display at
Tiffany's in New York
City and stepped over by visitors who could say they had "stepped over
the top of the Washington Monument". It was 8.9 inches (23 cm)
tall before 3⁄8 inch (1 cm) was removed from its tip by
lightning strikes during 1885–1934, when it was protected from
further damage by tall lightning rods surrounding it. Its base is 5.6
inches (14 cm) square. The angle between opposite sides at its
tip is 34°48'. It weighed 100 ounces (2.83 kg) before lightning
strikes removed a small amount of aluminum from its tip and sides.
Spectral analysis in 1934 showed that it was composed of 97.87%
aluminum with the rest impurities. It has a shallow depression in
its base to match a slightly raised area atop the small upper surface
of the marble capstone, which aligns the sides of the apex with those
of the capstone, and the downward protruding lip around that area
prevents water from entering the joint.:83–84 It has a large
hole in the center of its base to receive a threaded 1.5-inch
(3.8 cm) diameter copper rod which attaches it to the monument
and used to form part of the lightning protection system.:91
The four faces of the external aluminum apex all bear inscriptions in
cursive writing (Snell Round hand), which are incised into the
aluminum. The apex was inscribed on site after it was delivered.
Most inscriptions are the original 1884 inscriptions, except for the
top three lines on the east face which were added in 1934. A wide
gold-plated copper band that held eight lightning rods covered most of
the inscriptions from 1885 until it was removed and discarded in 2013.
The inscriptions that it covered were damaged and are now illegible.
Only the top four and bottom two lines of the north face, the first
and last lines of the west face, the top four lines of the south face,
and the top three lines of the east face are still legible. Even
though the inscriptions are no longer covered, no attempt was made to
repair them when the apex was accessible in 2013. The following table
shows legible inscriptions in blue and illegible inscriptions in
red.:93 No colors appear on the actual apex. The inscriptions
occupy the lower portions of triangles, thus the inscribed upper lines
are necessarily shorter than some lower lines.
Setting of Cap Stone.
Chester A. Arthur.
W. W. Corcoran, Chairman.
M. E. Bell.
Act of August 2, 1876.
Corner Stone Laid
on Bed of Foundation
July 4, 1848.
First Stone at Height of
152 feet laid
August 7, 1880.
Capstone set December 6, 1884.
Thos. Lincoln Casey,
Colonel, Corps of Engineers.
George W. Davis, Captain, 14th Infantry.
Bernard R. Green, Civil Engineer.
P. H. McLaughlin.
National Park Service,
Department of the Interior.
Although most printed sources, Harvey (1903),:295 Olszewski
(1971),:app C Torres (1984),:82, 84 and the Historic Structure
Report (2004),:4-6–4-7 refer to the original 1884 inscriptions,
National Geodetic Survey
National Geodetic Survey (2015):90–95 refers to both the 1884
and 1934 inscriptions. All sources print them according to their own
editorial rules, resulting in excessive capitalization (Harvey,
Olszewski, and NGS) and inappropriate line breaks. No printed source
uses cursive writing, although pictures of the apex clearly show that
it was used for both the 1884 and 1934
A replica displayed on the 490-foot level uses totally different line
breaks than those on the external apex — it also omits the 1934
inscriptions. In October 2007, it was discovered that the display of
this replica was positioned so that the Laus Deo (Latin for "praise be
to God") inscription could not be seen and Laus Deo was omitted from
the placard describing the apex. The
National Park Service
National Park Service rectified
the omission by creating a new display.
The pyramidion, the pointed top 55 feet (17 m) of the monument,
was originally designed with an 8.9-inch (23 cm) tall inscribed
aluminum apex which served as a single lightning rod, installed
December 6, 1884. Six months later on June 5, 1885 lightning damaged
the marble blocks of the pyramidion, so a net of gold-plated
copper rods supporting 200 3-inch (7.6 cm) gold-plated,
platinum-tipped copper points spaced every 5 feet (1.5 m) was
installed over the entire pyramidion.:3-10–3-11, 3-15, figs 3.17,
3.23:chp 6:91–92 The original net included a gold-plated
copper band attached to the aluminum apex by four large set screws
which supported eight closely spaced vertical points that did not
protrude above the apex. In 1934 these eight short points were
lengthened to extend them above the apex by 6 inches (15 cm).
In 2013 this original system was removed and discarded. It was
replaced by only two thick solid aluminum lightning rods protruding
above the tip of the apex by about one foot (0.3 m) attached to
the east and west sides of the marble capstone just below the
Until it was removed, the original lightning protection system was
connected to the tops of the four iron columns supporting the elevator
with large copper rods. Even though the aluminum apex is still
connected to the columns with large copper rods, it is no longer part
of the lightning protection system because it is now disconnected from
the present lightning rods which shield it. The two lightning rods
present since 2013 are connected to the iron columns with two large
braided aluminum cables leading down the surface of the pyramidion
near its southeast and northwest corners. They enter the pyramidion at
its base, where they are tied together (electrically shorted) via
large braided aluminum cables encircling the pyramidion two feet
(0.6 m) above its base. The bottom of the iron columns are
connected to ground water below the monument via four large copper
rods that pass through a 2-foot (0.6 m) square well half filled
with sand in the center of the foundation. The effectiveness of the
lightning protection system has not been affected by a significant
draw down of the water table since 1884 because the soil's water
content remains roughly 20% both above and below the height of the
Cross section of rubble in shaft at 150 feet and typical of rubble
below 150 feet
During the first phase of construction (1848–54), the walls were
built with bluestone gneiss rubble, ranging from very large irregular
stones having a cross section of about 5 by 10 feet (1.5 m
× 3.0 m) down to spalls (broken pieces of stone) all
embedded in a large amount of mortar. The outer surface is marble
stones 14 to 18 inches (36–46 cm) thick in 2-foot
(61 cm) high courses or rows horizontally encircling the
monument. Although each course contains both stretchers (stones
parallel to the wall) and headers (stones projecting into the wall),
about two to three times as many stretchers as headers were used.
Their joints were so thin that some stones pressed on bare stone below
them, breaking off many pieces since it was constructed. The batter or
slope of the outer surface is 0.247 inches per foot (2.06 cm/m,
1°11'). The inner surface has disorderly rows of smaller roughly
dressed bluestone gneiss.:B-49:sheets 7–30:18–19, 23,
105–6 The base of the first phase walls has an outer dimension of
55 feet 1 1⁄2 inches (16.80 m) square and a
thickness of 15 feet (4.6 m). The interior well is 25 feet
1 inch (7.65 m) square and has square corners. The weight
of the first phase walls up to 150 feet (45.7 m) is 22,373 long
tons (25,058 short tons; 22,732 tonnes).
During the second phase (1879–84), the walls were constructed of
smoothly dressed (ashlar) large marble and granite blocks (rectangular
cuboids) laid down in an orderly manner (Flemish bond) with thick
joints. Two-foot high marble surface stones, using an equal number of
stretchers and headers, were backed by granite blocks from the
152-foot level (the first course above the rubble) to the 218-foot
level, where marble headers become increasingly visible on the
internal surface of the walls up to the 450-foot level, above which
only marble stones are used.[I] Between the 150- and 160-foot levels
the inner walls rapidly slope outward, increasing the shaft well from
25 feet 1 inch square to 31 feet 5 1⁄2 inches
(9.59 m) square with a corresponding decrease in the thickness of
the walls and their weight.:sheets 4–5:23 The second phase
walls at the 160-foot level were 8 feet 7 1⁄2 inches
(2.63 m) thick, which, combined with the larger shaft well,
yields an outer dimension of 48 feet 8 1⁄2 inches
(14.85 m) square at that level. The top of the second phase walls
are 34 feet 5 1⁄2 inches (10.50 m) square and
1 foot 6 inches (46 cm) thick.:3-7 The second
phase interior walls have rounded (2-foot (0.61 m) radii)
corners. The weight of the second phase walls (from 150 feet to 500
feet) are 21,260 long tons (23,810 short tons; 21,600 tonnes). The
walls of the entire shaft (combined first and second phases) are
500 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (152.530 m) high.
The first phase of the walls was constructed under the direction of
William Dougherty. Its white marble exterior came from the Texas
quarry now adjacent to and east of north I-83 near the Warren Road
exit in Cockeysville, Maryland. The quarry was named for the Texas
Station (no longer extant) and 19th-century town on the Northern
Central Railway. During the first phase it was operated by Thomas
Symington, but is now operated by Lafarge and no longer produces
building stone. The second phase of construction was under the
direction of Lt Col/Col
Thomas Lincoln Casey
Thomas Lincoln Casey of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, who removed two defective courses added by the
Know-Nothings and the last 152-foot course added by Dougherty before
Casey began his construction. The next three courses of white marble
(152–156 feet (46–48 m)) came from Sheffield, Massachusetts,
while all courses above them came from the Beaver Dam quarry just west
of the 19th-century town of Cockeysville.:63 The latter
quarry is located on Beaver Dam Road near its intersection with
McCormick Road. During the second phase the quarry was operated by
Hugh Sisson, but is now flooded, is called Beaverdam Pond, and is the
home of the Beaver Dam Swimming Club. Both 19th-century towns are now
within the city limits of Cockeysville.
Rib structure of pyramidion with letter designations for courses
The marble capstone of the pyramidion is a truncated pyramid with a
cubical keystone projecting from its base and a deep groove
surrounding the keystone. The aluminum apex replaces its truncated
top. The inside upper edges of the topmost slabs on the four faces of
the pyramidion rest on the keystone and in the groove. It has a large
vertical hole through which a 1.5-inch (3.8 cm) threaded copper
rod passes and screws into the base of the apex, which used to form
part of its lightning protection system. The keystone and groove
occupy so much of its base that only a small horizontal area near its
outer edge remains. The weight of the capstone is transferred to both
the inner and outer portions of the shiplap upper edges of the slabs.
It weighs 3,300 pounds (1,500 kg), is 5 feet 2 inches
(157 cm) high from its base to its top, and is 3 feet
(91 cm) square at its base.:85:80
The marble pyramidion has an extremely complex construction to save
weight yet remain strong. Its surface slabs or panels are usually only
7 inches (18 cm) thick (with small thick and thin portions) and
generally do not support the weight of slabs above them, instead
transferring their own weight via 1-foot (30 cm) wide internal
marble ribs to the shaft's walls. The slabs are generally 7 feet
(213 cm) wide and 4 feet 4 inches (132 cm) high
with a 2-inch (5 cm) vertical overlap (shiplap) to prevent water
from entering the horizontal joints. Twelve such courses, the internal
ribs, the marble capstone, and the aluminum apex comprise the
pyramidion. Its height is 55 feet 0 inches (16.76 m).
Its weight is 300 long tons (336 short tons; 305 tonnes). The slope
of the walls of the pyramidion is 17°24' from the vertical. There
are twelve ribs, three per wall, which spring from the 470-foot
(143.3 m) level, all being integrated into the walls up to the
500-foot (152.4 m) level. All are free standing above 500 feet,
relying on mortise and tenon joints to attach neighboring stones. The
eight corner ribs terminate six courses above the shaft, each corner
rib resting on its neighboring corner rib via a miter joint, forming
four corner arches. Each such arch supports a pair of square corner
stones, one above the other totaling one course in height. Each corner
rib is linked to the nearest center rib at the sixth course via a
marble tie beam. The four center ribs terminate eight courses above
the shaft at a marble cruciform (cross shaped) keystone, forming two
main arches that cross each other. Two stones, each one course high,
are mounted on each of the four ribs, supporting two additional
courses above the cruciform keystone, leaving two courses to support
the capstone's weight by themselves.:3-8–3-11:6–10
The observation floor (nominally the 500-foot level) is 499 feet
4 1⁄2 inches (152.21 m) above the entry lobby floor
or lowest landing level. It is 1 1⁄4 inches (3.2 cm) above
the marble base of the pyramidion and the top of the shaft
walls.:56, 58, 65:sheet 7, 31–35
Four pairs of 3-foot (91 cm) wide observation windows are
provided, spaced 4 feet (122 cm) apart, inner stone edge to edge,
all just above the lowest course of slabs (504-foot level). Six are
1 foot 6 inches (46 cm) high while two on the east face
are 2 feet (61 cm) high for easier egress. All were originally
provided with thin marble shutters in a bronze frame each of which
could be opened inward, one left and the other right per wall.:3-11
After two people committed suicide by jumping through the open windows
in the 1920s, hinged horizontal iron bars were added to them in
1929.:3-14:85, 102 A ninth opening in a slab on the south face
just below the capstone is provided for access to the outside of the
pyramidion. It is covered by a stone slab which is internally
removable. In 1931, four red aircraft warning lights were installed,
one per face in one of its observation windows. Pilots complained that
they could not be easily seen, so the monument was floodlit on all
sides as well.:2-14, B-39, B-41, B-52–B-53 In 1958, eight 14-inch
(36 cm) diameter holes for new red aircraft warning lights were
bored, one above each window near the top edge of the fourth course of
slabs (516-foot level) in the pyramidion.:2-28, 3-15, B-55:sheet
12 In 1958 the observation windows were glazed with shatterproof
glass. In 1974–76, they were glazed with bulletproof glass and the
shutters removed. New bulletproof glass was installed during
1997–2000.:3-16, 3-18, B-49
The pyramidion has two inscriptions, neither of which is regarded as a
memorial stone. One is the year "1884" on the underside of the
cruciform keystone; the other is at the same level as that keystone on
the north face of the west center rib containing the names and titles
of the four highest ranked builders. Its inscription ("Chief Engineer
...") is almost identical to the inscription on the south face of the
aluminum apex except for "U.S.", which is part of the phrase "14th
U.S. Infantry" in the inscription inside the pyramidion, but the apex
has only "14th Infantry". Additionally, the internal inscription does
not use cursive writing and all letters in all names are
Cross section of foundation, both old and reinforced, showing
The first phase began with the excavation of about 7 feet
8 inches (2.3 m) of topsoil down to a level of loam,
consisting of equal parts of sand and clay, hard enough to require
picks to break it up. On this "bed of the foundation" the cornerstone
was laid at the northeast corner of the proposed foundation. The rest
of the foundation was then constructed of bluestone gneiss rubble and
spalls, with every crevice filled with lime mortar.:23, 68 The
dimensions of this old foundation were 23 feet 4 inches
(7.1 m) high, 80 feet (24.4 m) square at the base, and
58 feet 6 inches (17.8 m) square at the top, laid down
in eight steps, similar to a truncated step pyramid.:18–19, 23,
47 At the center of the foundation a brick-lined 2-foot (60 cm)
square well was dug to a depth of 20 feet (6 m) below the bed of
the foundation to keep it dry and to supply water during
During the second phase, after determining that the proposed weight of
the monument was too great for the old foundation to safely bear, the
thickness of the walls atop the unfinished stump was reduced and the
foundation was strengthened by adding a large unreinforced concrete
slab below the perimeter of the old foundation to increase the
monument's load bearing area two and one half times. The slab was
13 feet 6 inches (4.1 m) thick, with an outer perimeter
126 feet 5 1⁄2 inches (38.54 m) square, an inner
perimeter 44 feet (13.4 m) square, with undisturbed loam inside
the inner perimeter except for the water well. The area at the base of
the second phase foundation is 15,992 square feet (1,485.7 m2).
The strengthened foundation (old foundation and concrete slab) has a
total depth of 36 feet 10 inches (11.2 m) below the
bottom of the lowest course of marble blocks (now below ground), and
38 feet (11.6 m) below the entry lobby floor. Casey reported that
nowhere did the load exceed 9 long tons per square foot (140 psi;
970 kPa) and did not exceed 3 long tons per square foot
(47 psi; 320 kPa) near the outer perimeter. To properly
distribute the load from the shaft to slab, about half by volume of
the outer periphery of the old rubble foundation below its top step
was removed. A continuous sloping unreinforced concrete buttress
encircles what remains. The buttress is 100 feet 4 inches
(30.6 m) square at its base, 64 feet 6 inches
(19.7 m) square at its top, and 20 feet 5 inches
(6.2 m) high. The perimeter of the original top step of the old
rubble foundation rests on the larger top of the concrete buttress.
Its slope (lower external angle from the vertical) is 49°. This
buttress rests in a depression (triangular cross-section) on the top
surface of the concrete slab. The slab was constructed by digging
pairs of 4-foot (1.2 m) wide drifts on opposite sides of the
monument's center line to keep the monument properly balanced. The
drifts were filled with unreinforced concrete with depressions or
dowel stones on their sides to interlock the sections.:3-3–3-5,
figs 3.1–3.6, 3.9, 3.13, 4.11:39, 47–48, 67–73 An earthen
terrace 60 feet (18 m) wide with its top at the base of the walls
and steep sides was constructed in 1880–81 over the reinforced
foundation while the rest of the monument was being constructed.
During 1887–88, a knoll was constructed around the terrace tapering
out roughly 300 feet (90 m) onto the surrounding terrain. This
earthen terrace and knoll serves as an additional buttress for the
foundation. The weight of the foundation is 36,912 long tons (41,341
short tons; 37,504 tonnes), including earth and gneiss rubble above
the concrete foundation that is within its outer perimeter.
Stairs and elevator
North interior wall with its stairs and their wire screening.
The monument is filled with ironwork, consisting of its stairs,
elevator columns and associated tie beams, none of which supports the
weight of the stonework. It was redesigned in 1958 to reduce
congestion and improve the flow of visitors. Originally, visitors
entered and exited the west side of the elevator on the observation
floor, causing congestion. So the large landing at the 490-foot level
was expanded to a full floor and the original spiral stair in the
northeast corner between the 490- and 500-foot levels was replaced by
two spiral stairs in the northeast and southeast corners. Now visitors
exit the elevator on the observation floor, then walk down either
spiral stair before reboarding the elevator for their trip back
The main stairs spiral up the interior walls from the entry lobby
floor to the elevator reboarding floor at the 490-foot level. The
elevator occupies the center of the shaft well from the entry lobby to
the observation floor, with an elevator machine room (installed
1925–26) whose floor is 18 feet 10 inches (5.7 m)
above the observation floor and an elevator pit (excavated 1879) whose
floor is 9 feet (2.74 m) below the entry lobby floor.:sheet
31–35:61, 74 The stairs and elevator are supported by four
wrought iron columns each. The four supporting the stairs extend from
the entry lobby floor to the observation floor and were set at the
corners of a 15-foot-8-inch (4.78 m) square. The four supporting
the elevator extend from the floor of the elevator pit to 14 feet
(4.3 m) above the observation floor and were set at the corners
of a 9-foot-9 1⁄2-inch (2.98 m) square.:3-6 The weight
of the ironwork is 275 long tons (308 short tons; 279 tonnes). Cast
iron, wrought iron, and steel were all used. The two small spiral
stairs installed in 1958 are aluminum.
Most landings occupy the entire east and west interior walls every 10
feet from and including the east landing at the 30-foot level up to
the west landing at the 480-foot level, east then west alternately.
Three stairs with small landings rise from the entry lobby floor to
the 30-foot level successively along the north, west and south
interior walls. Landings from the 30-foot level up to the 150-foot
level are 3 feet 2 1⁄4 inches (0.97 m) by
25 feet 1 inch (7.65 m), while landings from the
160-foot level to the 480-foot level are 7 feet
10 3⁄4 inches (2.41 m) by 31 feet
5 1⁄2 inches (9.59 m). All stairs are on the north
and south walls except for the aforementioned west stair between the
10- and 20-foot levels, and the two spiral stairs.
About one fourth of visitors chose to ascend the monument using the
stairs when they were available. They were closed to up traffic in
1971, and then closed to all traffic except by special arrangement in
1976.:3-18:101 The stairs had 898 steps until 1958, consisting
of 18 risers in each of the 49 main stairs plus 16 risers in the
spiral stair.:chp 7:18 Since 1958 the stairs have had 897
risers if only one spiral stair is counted because both spiral stairs
now have 15 risers each.:sheets 6, 31–35:72 These figures do
not include two additional steps in the entry passage that were
covered up in 1975 by a ramp and its inward horizontal extension to
meet the higher (since 1886) entry lobby floor. One step was 3.2 feet
(1 m) away from the outer walls and the other was at the end of
the passage, 15 feet (4.6 m) away from the outer
walls.:3-17–3-18, figs 3.11, 3.32–3.33, 3.39
As initially constructed, the interior was relatively open with
two-rail handrails, but a couple of suicides and an accidental fall
prompted the addition of tall wire screening (7 feet (2.1 m) high
with a large diamond mesh) on the inside edge of the stairs and
landings in 1929. The original steam powered elevator, which took 10
to 12 minutes to ascend to the observation floor, was replaced by an
electric elevator powered by an on-site dynamo in 1901 which took five
minutes to ascend. The monument was connected to the electrical grid
in 1923, allowing the installation of a modern electric elevator in
1925–26 which took 70 seconds. The latter was replaced in 1958 and
again in 1998 by 70-second elevators.:2-13, 2-15, 3-20–3-21,
B-44, B-47, B-48:102, 107–8 During 1997–2000, the wire
screening at three platforms was replaced by large glass panels to
allow visitors on the elevator to view three clusters of memorial
stones that were synchronously lit as the elevator automatically
slowed as it passed them during its descent.:3-21, 4-16
Overhead view showing all 50 American flags.
Fifty American flags (not state flags), one for each state, are now
flown 24 hours a day around a large circle centered on the monument.
Forty eight American flags (one for each state then in existence) were
flown on wooden flag poles on Washington's birthday since 1920 and
later on Independence Day, Memorial Day, and other special occasions
until early 1958. Both the flags and flag poles were removed and
stored between these days. In 1958 fifty 25-foot (7.6 m) tall
aluminum flag poles (anticipating
Alaska and Hawaii) were installed,
evenly spaced around a 260-foot (79 m) diameter circle. During
2004–05, the diameter of the circle was reduced to 240 feet
(73 m). Since Washington's birthday 1958, 48 American flags were
flown on a daily basis, increasing to 49 flags on July 4, 1959, and
then to 50 flags since July 4, 1960. When 48 and 49 flags were flown,
only 48 and 49 flag poles of the available 50 were placed into base
receptacles. All flags were removed and stored overnight. Since July
4, 1971, 50 American flags have flown 24 hours a day.:2-14–2-15,
4-1–4-2, B-35–B-36 :sheet 3
In the 2004 grounds renovation, two large circles were added to the
landscaping with the obelisk in the intersection or vesica piscis. The
monument's vesica piscis is not ideal because neither circle passes
through the center of its neighbor. Furthermore, both "circles" are
The total cost of the monument from 1848 to 1888 was $1,409,500
(equivalent to $30,000,000 in 2016). The weight of the above
ground portion of the monument is 44,208 long tons (49,513 short tons;
44,917 tonnes), whereas its total weight, including the foundation
below ground and any earth above it that is within its outer perimeter
is 81,120 long tons (90,854 short tons; 82,422 tonnes). The total
number of blocks in the monument, including all marble, granite and
gneiss blocks, whether externally or internally visible or hidden from
view within the walls or old foundation is over 36,000. The number
of marble blocks externally visible is about 10,000.
The monument stands 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches
(169.046 m) tall according to the National Geodetic Survey
(measured 2013–14) or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches
(169.294 m) tall according to the
National Park Service
National Park Service (measured
1884).[A] In 1975, a ramp covered two steps at the entrance to the
monument, so the ground next to the ramp was raised to match its
height, reducing the remaining height to the monument's apex. It is
both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest
obelisk. 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.[B] The tallest masonry structure in the world is the brick
Anaconda Smelter Stack
Anaconda Smelter Stack in
Montana at 585 feet
1 1⁄2 inches (178.35 m) tall. But this includes a
30-foot (9.14 m) non-masonry concrete foundation, leaving the
stack's brick chimney at 555 feet 1 1⁄2 inches
(169.20 m) tall, only about 6 inches (15 cm) taller than the
monument's 2015 height. If the monument's aluminum apex is also
discounted, then the stack's masonry portion is 15 inches (38 cm)
taller than the monument's masonry portion.[A][J]
A low-profile ha-ha wall surrounds the monument
In 2001, a temporary visitor security screening center was added to
the east entrance of the
Washington Monument in the wake of the
September 11 attacks. The one-story facility was designed to reduce
the ability of a terrorist attack on the interior of the monument, or
an attempt to seize and hold it. Visitors obtained their timed-entry
tickets from the Monument Lodge east of the memorial, and passed
through metal detectors and bomb-sniffing sensors prior to entering
the monument. After exiting the monument, they passed through a
turnstile to prevent them from re-entering. This facility, a one-story
cube of wood around a metal frame, was intended to be temporary until
a new screening facility could be designed.
On March 6, 2014, the
National Capital Planning Commission
National Capital Planning Commission approved a
new visitor screening facility to replace the temporary one. The
785-square-foot (72.9 m2) facility will be two stories high and
contain space for screening 20 to 25 visitors at a time. The exterior
walls (which will be slightly frosted to prevent viewing of the
security screening process) will consist of an outer sheet of
bulletproof glass or polycarbonate, a metal mesh insert, and another
sheet of bulletproof glass. The inner sheet will consist of two sheets
(slightly separated) of laminated glass. A 0.5-inch (1.3 cm)
airspace will exist between the inner and outer glass walls to help
insulate the facility. Two (possibly three) geothermal heat pumps will
be built on the north side of the monument to provide heating and
cooling of the facility. The new facility will also provide an office
National Park Service
National Park Service and United States Park Police staff. The
structure is designed so that it may be removed without damaging the
United States Commission of Fine Arts
United States Commission of Fine Arts approved the
aesthetic design of the screening facility in June 2013.
A recessed trench wall known as a ha-ha has been built to minimize the
visual impact of a security barrier surrounding the monument. After
September 11 attacks
September 11 attacks and another unrelated terror threat at the
monument, authorities had put up a circle of temporary Jersey barriers
to prevent large motor vehicles from approaching. The unsightly
barrier was replaced by a less-obtrusive low 30-inch (0.76 m)
granite stone wall that doubles as a seating bench and also
incorporates lighting. The installation received the 2005
Park/Landscape Award of Merit from the American Society of Landscape
Washington Monument is served by the Smithsonian metro
Washington, D.C. portal
List of public art in Washington, D.C., Ward 2
List of tallest freestanding structures in the world
List of tallest towers
List of tallest towers in the world
^ a b c Several heights have been specified, all of which exclude the
foundation whose top is 15 feet 8 inches (4.78 m) above
the pre-construction ground level. The foundation is surrounded by a
grassy knoll which effectively places the foundation below ground
level. This knoll serves as a buttress for the foundation.
554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m) according to
National Geodetic Survey
National Geodetic Survey (NGS):5 using the criteria of the
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), that is, from the
"level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance" to
the highest point of the building. From among four candidate points
suggested by the NGS, the CTBUH chose a point on the entry ramp
installed in 1975 where it crosses the outer face of the marble facade
of the monument.:7:2-15, 3-18, 4-13, B-49, figs 3.32, 3.33,
3.39, 3.42:sheet 31 Measured 2013–14 and reported February 16,
2015. This is also its new above ground height because the ground at
the shaft was raised in 1975 to match the ramp. The ground surrounding
the shaft was replaced by granite pavers during 2004–05 to match the
raised ground level and the ramp. This height is 22.0 centimeters
(8.66 in) above four "CASEY marks", 2.5-inch (6.4 cm)
diameter brass bolt heads whose shafts are inserted vertically into
the topmost level of the foundation just outside the four corners of
the monument. These CASEY marks were set flush with the lower surface
of the marble blocks. The NGS thinks they were likely used by Col.
Thomas Lincoln Casey, the engineer in charge of construction, to
determine the traditional height in 1884. The floor at the elevator is
now 13.9 centimeters (5.47 in) above this pedestrian entrance,
and 35.9 centimeters (14.13 in) above the CASEY marks.:13, 56,
65, 82–84 The highest point of the monument is a one millimeter
diameter dimple atop the aluminum apex.
555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) according to
the National Park Service. Measured and reported in 1884 by Col.
Thomas Lincoln Casey, the engineer in charge of construction. It
was measured from the top of the foundation (the lowest marble joint
or the door-sills of the two empty doorways), which was in place in
1884. This is the traditional height of the monument that became moot
when the pavement or ground next to the monument was raised in 1975.
554 feet 11 1⁄2 inches (169.151 m) according to
architectural drawings in the Historic American Buildings Survey
(1994), pavement at shaft to tip.:sheets 7, 31 This height is
comparable to the NGS height because it was also determined after the
ramp was installed in 1975.
None of these heights include a set of lightning rods surrounding the
monument's aluminum apex. An old set was installed in 1934, which
protruded above its tip by 6 inches (15 cm). In 2013 a new
set of lightning rods was installed which protrude above the apex by
about one foot (0.3 m).:23, 26
^ a b Two other monumental columns (honoring a person or thing) have
heights comparable to that of the Washington Monument, the San Jacinto
Monument in Texas and the
Juche Tower in North Korea. Which of the
three is taller depends on how its height is measured. A
traditional method is above a part of the monument comparable to
ground level. A more recent method is that used by the Council on Tall
Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the arbiter of the height of tall
buildings since 1969. The CTBUH states the height of a building must
be measured above the "level of the lowest, significant, open-air,
pedestrian entrance". The three CTBUH (above pedestrian entrance)
heights from tallest to shortest are the Washington Monument, the San
Jacinto Monument (−2.6 feet (−0.79 m)), and the Juche Tower
(−20 feet (−6 m)). The above ground heights of the three
monumental columns from tallest to shortest are the San Jacinto
Monument (+12.70 feet (3.871 m)), the
Juche Tower (3.3 feet
(+1 m)), and the Washington Monument. Height differences are
relative to the height of the Washington Monument.
The Washington Monument's CTBUH (above pedestrian entrance) height,
554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m), is the same
as its above ground height.
San Jacinto Monument
San Jacinto Monument has a surveyed height of 567.31 feet
(172.916 m) from its footing to the top of its beacon. However,
the architect of the monument, Albert C. Finn, stated, "San Jacinto
... is actually 552 feet (168.2 m) from the first floor to the
top of the beacon" ... in the "customary way" of measuring such
things. The "first floor" is the CTBUH criterion. A stepped
terrace elevates this pedestrian entrance above ground, thus reducing
the monument's remaining height by its thickness, about 15.5 feet
(4.7 m), to the monument's CTBUH height. The monument is made of
reinforced concrete, not stone, although it has a facade of limestone.
Juche Tower has a specified height of 558 feet (170 m) above
a very large concrete bus parking lot just east of the tower. A
stepped terrace elevates its pedestrian entrance, also on its east
side, above this ground level. Its thickness, 23 feet (7 m),
reduces the remaining height of the tower to 535 feet (163 m),
its CTBUH height. The tower is made of reinforced concrete, not stone,
although it has a facade of granite. A metal cage holding many panels
of red glass in the shape of a flame, internally illuminated at night,
surmounting a gold-colored "fuel chamber", occupies its top 66 feet
^ The base of the obelisk atop the circular pillar was to have been
"70 feet square" according to the House report of 1872:8 and
Torres (1984),:13 but only "50 feet square" according to Harvey
(1903).:27 The corners of a 70-foot square base (99-foot diagonal)
would dangerously overhang a 70-foot diameter pillar, whereas a
50-foot square base (71-foot diagonal) would not.
^ L'Enfant identified himself as "Peter Charles L'Enfant" during most
of his life, while residing in the US. He wrote this name on his "Plan
of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t(he)
United States ..." and on other legal documents. However,
during the early 1900s, a French ambassador to the U.S., Jean Jules
Jusserand, popularized the use of L'Enfant's birth name, "Pierre
Charles L'Enfant". The
National Park Service
National Park Service identifies L'Enfant
as "Major Peter Charles L'Enfant" and as "Major Pierre (Peter) Charles
L'Enfant" on pages of its website that describe the Washington
United States Code
United States Code states in 40
U.S.C. § 3309: "(a) In General.—The purposes of this
chapter shall be carried out in the District of Columbia as nearly as
may be practicable in harmony with the plan of Peter Charles
^ The monument is located 370 feet (112.78 m) east of the
White House axis, 123 feet (37.49 m) south of the
east–west Capitol axis, and 7,387.4 feet (2,251.68 m) west of
the north–south Capitol axis.:16
^ The park portion of the Mall, including Madison Drive, Jefferson
Drive, and four wide gravel boulevards between them east of the
monument, and the Reflecting Pool and sidewalks west of the monument,
are parallel to the offset Capitol-Monument-Lincoln axis. But the
major highways immediately north and south of the Mall, Constitution
Avenue and Independence Avenue, are oriented east–west. This
misalignment can be seen on a map of the area.
^ A "Dutchman Repair" "is a type of partial replacement or
'piecing-in'" that "involves replacing a small area of damaged stone"
with a small piece of natural or imitation stone, "wedged in place or
secured with an adhesive", with the joint being "as narrow as possible
to maintain the appearance of a continuous surface."
Carthage stone was the last memorial stone installed in the
monument, in 2000.
^ Three types of levels exist, one for marble courses in the walls,
one for marble courses in the pyramidion, and one for stair landings.
The level of a marble course in the walls is named by the height of
its upper surface or joint, in multiples of 2 feet (61 cm), above
the lower surface (zero feet) of the lowest marble course in the walls
(now below ground), which rests on the old foundation and is at the
same height as four Casey marks (the tops of four brass bolts inserted
vertically into the top of the old foundation). The level of a marble
course in the pyramidion is similar to those in the walls except that
they are in multiples of 4 feet (122 cm). The level of a stair
landing is named by its height, in multiples of 10 feet (3.0 m),
above the lowest landing, which coincides with the entry lobby floor.
The zero-foot height or reference for marble courses in the first
phase walls (which do not extend through the rubble walls) is
14 1⁄8 inches (36 cm) below that for stair
landings,:56, 58, 65 but marble levels in the second phase walls
(except for the 500-foot level) are only 11 inches (28 cm) below
their corresponding stair levels.:sheets 32–35:22
^ Masonry, by definition, includes manufactured brick, natural stone
units, and concrete masonry units. Taller stacks or chimneys are made
of reinforced concrete. See the list of tallest towers (designed for
regular public access), and the list of tallest chimneys (not designed
for regular public access).
^ a b c d e f g h i j National Geodetic Survey, "2013–2014 Survey of
the Washington Monument" Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback
Machine., 2015. Horizontal coordinates converted from NAD83(2011) to
WGS84(G1674), the required coordinate system for
coordinates, via NGS Horizontal Time-Dependent Positioning, epoch
2010.0 including ellipsoidal height.
^ "Foundation Statement for the
National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue
National Historic Park" (PDF), National Park Service, retrieved May
^ a b Wunsch, Aaron V. (1994). Historic American Buildings Survey,
Washington Monument, HABS DC-428 (text) (PDF). National Park
^ a b "CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings".
^ National Geodetic Survey, "Why does the value obtained in 2014 ...
disagree with the 1884 value ...?" Archived March 4, 2016, at the
Wayback Machine., 2015, picture of precise spot used.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w John Milner
Associates, Historic Structure Report:
Washington Monument Archived
June 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., 2004 (HSR)
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Arzola, Robert R.; Lockett, Dana L.;
Schara, Mark; Vazquez, Jose Raul (1994). Historic American Buildings
Survey, Washington Monument, HABS DC-428 (drawings). National Park
^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions about the
Washington Monument by the
National Park Service". Nps.gov. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Thos. Lincoln Casey, "report of operations upon
Washington Monument for the year " in Letter from William W.
Corcoran, Chairman of the Joint Commission for the Completion of the
Washington Monument, transmitting the annual report of the Commission,
December 19, 1884, U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Vol. 2310, 48th
Congress, 2nd Session, House of Representatives Misc. Doc. 8, p. 5.
Available for free in most large United States libraries in government
documents or online. Establish a connection to Readex collections
before clicking on link.
^ a b c d e George J. Binczewski (1995). "The Point of a Monument: A
History of the
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^ a b c "Aerial America: Washington D.C.". Aerial America. Smithsonian
^ a b Kelly, John (June 19, 2013). "Local: The
Washington Monument is
tall, but is it the tallest?". Washington Post. Retrieved December 26,
^ Paul Gervais Bell Jr., "Monumental Myths" Archived March 4, 2016, at
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2000, frontispiece-14, pp. 13-14
^ a b Marking a people's love, an article from The New York Times
published February 22, 1885.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae
af Louis Torres, "To the immortal name and memory of George
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^ a b Michael D. Hoover, The origins and history of the Washington
Monument flag display, 1992 Archived June 20, 2015, at the Wayback
^ a b
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File Number 6176. March 6,
2014, pp. 5, 7 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine..
Retrieved March 7, 2014.
^ a b c d "Post-Earthquake Assessment" (PDF). www.nps.gov. National
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^ Ambrose, Stephen E. (November 2002). "Founding Fathers and
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^ Sheldon S. Cohen, "Monuments to Greatness: George Dance, Charles
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^ Kirk Savage, Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and
the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (2009) pp 32–45
^ George Cochrane Hazelton, The national capitol: its architecture,
art and history (1902) p. 288.
^ a b "The Washington Monument: Tribute in Stone". National Park
^ a b c d e f g h Olszewski, George J. (1971). "A History of the
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^ a b "The Washington Monument: Tribute in Stone, Reading 3". National
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^ a b Washington National Monument, April 19, 1872, U.S. Congressional
Serial Set, Vol. 1528, 42d Congress, 2d Session, House Report 48.
Available for free in most large United States libraries in government
documents or online. Establish a connection to Readex collections
before clicking on link.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Frederick L. Harvey, History of the
Washington National Monument and Washington National Monument Society,
Congressional Serial Set, volume 4436, 57th Congress, 2nd session,
Senate Doc. 224, 1903. This 1903 edition is about three times the size
of the 1902 edition, which has the slightly different name History of
the Washington National Monument and of the Washington National
Monument Society Archived September 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine..
The 1903 edition is available for free in most large United States
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^ Richard G. Carrott, The Egyptian Revival, 1978, plate 33
^ a b c [Thomas Lincoln Casey], Letter from the Joint Commission for
Completion of the Washington Monument, transmitting their annual
report. December 15, 1885 Congressional Serial Set, volume 2333, 49th
Congress, 1st session, Senate Doc. 6. Available for free in most large
United States libraries in government documents or online. Establish a
connection to Readex collections before clicking on link.
^ a b Peter Charles L'Enfant's "Plan of the city intended for the
permanent seat of the government of t(he) United States ..." in
official website of the U.S. Library of Congress. Retrieved October
Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington, D.C., contains an
inlay of the central portion of L'Enfant's plan and of its legends.
Archived July 31, 2007, at WebCite
^ Bowling, Kenneth R (2002). Peter Charles L'Enfant: vision, honor,
and male friendship in the early American Republic. George Washington
University, Washington, D.C.
^ "Washington Monument" section in "Washington, D.C.: A National
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^ "Washington Monument" page in "American Presidents" section of
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October 15, 1804 Survey of Jefferson Pier. 7696.8 feet – 370 feet +
60.6 feet = 7387.4 feet.
^ "Data Sheet Retrieval". noaa.gov.
^ Pfanz, Donald C., National Park Service, National Capital Region
(December 2, 1980). "
Jefferson Pier Marker" (PDF). National Register
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the District of Columbia. pp. 51–52.
^ Riesman, Abraham (July 10, 2017). "So, Was the Washington Monument
Built by Slaves". Slate. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
^ Jesus, Austin Elias-de (July 11, 2017). "Spider-Man: Homecoming Says
Washington Monument Was Built by Slaves. Was It?". Slate.
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^ a b "Reading 2: Construction of the Monument". National Park
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^ Perry, John (2010). Lee: A Life of Virtue. Nashville, Tennessee:
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Monument: A technical history and catalog of the commemorative stones
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^ a b c Reeves, Thomas C. (February 1975). Gentleman Boss. New York,
NY: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 413. ISBN 978-0-394-46095-6.
^ "Washington Monument". National Park Service. Retrieved March 10,
2015. The walls of the monument range in thickness from 15' at the
base to 18 at the upper shaft. They are composed primarily of white
marble blocks from Maryland with a few from Massachusetts, underlain
by Maryland blue gneiss and Maine granite. A slight color change is
perceptible at the 150' level near where construction slowed in
^ "Hall Process: Production and Commercialization of Aluminum".
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^ a b Crutchfield, James A. (2005). George Washington: First in War,
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^ a b The Dedication of the Washington National Monument, 1885.
^ Reeves, Thomas C. (February 1975). Gentleman Boss. NY, NY: Alfred A.
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^ Edward Chaney, "Roma Britannica and the Cultural Memory of Egypt:
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Obelisk of Domitian", in Roma Britannica: Art
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Marshall, K. Wolfe and S. Russell, British School at Rome, 2011, pp.
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^ Jeffrey David Simon (2001). The Terrorist Trap: America's Experience
with Terrorism. Indiana UP. p. 285.
^ Gabriel Escobar (December 30, 1998). "Obelisk's Scaffold Is First of
Its Kind". Washington Post. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
^ a b Linda Wheeler (July 30, 2000). "It's Ready for Its Close-Up Now:
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^ "Metro in Brief". The Washington Post. August 30, 2000.
^ John Heilprin (February 23, 2002). "New sight from Washington
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^ Paul Schwartzman (March 19, 2005). "
Washington Monument To Reopen
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^ FoxNews.com (August 23, 2011). "Disasters Washington Monument
Indefinitely Closes After Earthquake Causes Cracks". Fox News.
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^ a b "
Washington Monument reopens after quake repairs". CNN.com.
August 23, 2011. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
Washington Monument top cracked by earthquake". Associated Press.
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^ a b c d e Michael E. Ruane (September 26, 2011). "Washington
Elevator Damage Inspected as Earthquake's Toll Is Assessed".
Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
^ Sullivan, Patricia. "
Washington Monument Cracks Indicate Earthquake
Damage." Washington Post. August 25, 2011. Assessed August 26, 2011.
Washington Monument Finds Additional Cracks." Press release.
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^ a b c Nuckols, Ben. "Weather May Delay Washington Monument
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^ a b c O'Toole, Molly. "Engineers to Rappel Down Washington Monument
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^ Clark, Charles S. (August 21, 2012). "
Washington Monument Elevator
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^ a b Smith, Markette (September 26, 2011). "Climbers Rappel
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video, and images of the earthquake and damage
^ Cohn, Alicia. "
Washington Monument could be closed until 2014 for
earthquake repairs". The Hill. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
^ a b "
Washington Monument Earthquake Repair". CMAA. May 1, 2014.
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^ Freed, Benjamin R. "
Washington Monument Nearly Topped Out, Will Be
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^ Grimmer, Anne E., "Dutchman Repair" (1984),A Glossary of Historic
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Washington Monument May Be
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^ "10 Facts About the
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accessible from the Smithsonian Metro station...
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
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Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia
article Washington Monument.
Official NPS website: Washington Monument
"Trust for the National Mall: Washington Monument". Trust for the
National Mall. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011.
Harper's Weekly cartoon, February 21, 1885, the day of formal
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