The Washington Monument reopens to the public today. The monument has been closed for repairs since the 5.8 earthquake damaged it in August of 2011.
The 555-foot-tall marble obelisk is an instantly recognizable landmark today–but here’s a proposal from Montgomery C. Meigs in 1877 on how to complete the monument.
The Washington Monument was completed in two phases of construction: one private (1848-1854) and one public (1876-1884). At one point, the monument stood partially finished, construction halted for two decades. The Washington National Monument Society had a change in leadership, then went backrupt, and the architect died.
Finally, in July 5, 1876, Congress assumed the duty of funding and building the Washington Monument, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers resumed construction. The Washington Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885.
Image: National Archives Identifier 6087992
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