Washington Monument by sunset

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Washington Monument by sunset ( 480x640 )
Washington Monument was built to honour the first American president George Washington. It is located at the west end of the National Mall, on 15th Street, SW. It is a large white-coloured obelisk, 169 metres tall. At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in the world. It is still the tallest building in Washington D.C. It covers the area of 106.01 acres (0.429 km2).

The construction of the monument began in 1848 on July 4 and was not completed until 1884 (December 6), almost 30 years after the architect's death. The main reasons were lack of funds and the intervention of the American Civil War. This long constructing time is visible also on the marble used. A difference in shading, visible approximately 45 m/150 feet up, clearly delineates the initial construction from its resumption in 1876. The monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885 and it was officially opened to the public on October 9, 1888.

Its designer was a prominent American architect of the 1840s Robert Mills. However, his original designs were a bit different from the present-day appearance of the monument. According to them, there should have been a colonnade around the obelisk.

The monument is made of three kind of stone: marble, granite, and sandstone. In 1849 it had agreed that all states and territories can donate memorial stones that could be fitted into the interior walls. So blocks of marble, granite and sandstone steadily appeared at the site. American Indian tribes, professional organizations, societies, businesses and foreign nations donated stones that were 4 feet by 2 feet by 12-18 inches (1.2 by 0.6 by 0.3 to 0.5 m).

All that George Washington represented - an impressive appearance, a powerful influence, and a simplistic elegance of manners is now presented by the monument dedicated to him. It presents an impressive appearance from a distance, asserts a powerful influence on the National Mall, and has a simplistic elegance in its architecture.

Today the Washington Monument has more than 800,000 visitors each year.
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