Construction System: Masonry Cut Stone
Fact: At 555 feet tall, the highest all-masonry tower in the
world. It is 55 feet wide at the base.
Alone among the Founders of the United States George Washington earned the title "Father of his Country" in recognition of his leadership in the cause of American independence. Washington defined the Presidency and helped develop the relationships among the three branches of government. He established precedents that successfully launched the new government on its course. Washington remained ever mindful of the ramifications of his decisions and actions, for he was a consummate statesman. With this monument, the citizens of the United States show their enduring gratitude and respect.
Completed in 1885 after nearly 40 years of toil, the 555-foot, 5 and 1/8-inch Washington Monument was the world's tallest structure for five years, when it was surpassed by Paris' Eiffel Tower. It remains the world's tallest freestanding masonry structure, constructed entirely of stacked granite and marble blocks with no metal structural supports. The only metal portion is the uppermost tip â€” a 100-ounce pyramid of aluminum, which in the 1880s was, considered such a rare and precious metal that it was exhibited at Tiffany's jewelry store in New York before installation. Federal law ensures that the monument will always be the tallest building in the nation's capital.
The National Park Service began an 18-month project to restore the Washington Monument in late 1997. Congress chartered an official nonprofit group â€” the National Park Foundation â€” to enlist the financial support of a number of private corporations, including Discovery Communications. By early spring 2000; workers took down the metal scaffolding that covered the monument during the restoration, signaling the end of work to the outside of the monument. Special scaffolding had to be used during the outside phase of the p