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The Washington Monument

            Designed by Robert Mills (born-Charleston, S. 3, 1855) in 1838, to follow the form of an Egyptian obelisk, it rises more than 550 feet above the city and is the largest masonry structure in the world. The cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4, 1848. The structure was completed in 1885.
             Mills achieved fame after being appointed (1836) architect and engineer to the federal government, in which he designed this monument to honor the first president of the United States. .
             The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 and was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death, due to lack of funds and the Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble (visible 150 feet up) clearly shows the initial construction from its fishing construction in 1876.
             The Washington Monument was the world's tallest structure for five years, when it was surpassed by Paris' Eiffel Tower. Constructed entirely of stacked granite and marble blocks with no metal structural supports. The only metal portion is the uppermost tip " 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 1997. Congress started an official nonprofit group " the National Park Foundation " to enlist the financial support of a number of private corporations, including Discovery Communications.
             By early spring 2000, workers took down the metal cover that covered the monument during the restoration, signaling the end of work to the outside of the monument. Special covering had to be used during the outside phase of the process to avoid drilling holes into the granite and marble blocks.

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