|The Washington Monument looking west across the National Mall from the U.S. Capitol grounds. The Smithsonian "castle" is on the left.|
Engineers have found some cracks on the exterior at the very top of the monument (the pyramidion), but the interior was deemed to be undamaged and in no danger of collapse. One of the engineers assessing the damage got an unexpected thrill ride when winds lifted him 30 feet from the structure and blew him from one side to another. The inspection is expected to continue until Oct. 14.
When George Washington resigned his commission in 1783, the Continental Congress passed a resolution to build a monument in his honor. Resolving and doing weren't quite the same thing, though. A design for the new federal city with a monument at its center was approved in 1791, but the Washington National Monument Society didn't accept the monument's design until 1836.
Robert Mills' design featured an obelisk surrounded by a pantheon of the Founding Fathers. Made primarily of marble and granite, the 555-plus-foot high monument is said to be the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest true obelisk.
Moving at the speed of government, the cornerstone of the monument was laid twelve years later (1848), but was not completed for another thirty-six years (1884)! (You'd think they were building a freeway in Phoenix!)
In spite of all the delays in its construction, the monument is an inspiring sight and I think our first Prez would find it worthy, cracks and all.
Till next time,
I'm linking to Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.