you live in Northern Virginia, in a
neighborhood that is right next door to the nation's capital, you may tend to
forget the fact that you are also in the heart of her history. You may not even
notice when you pass a national landmark such as the Washington Monument.
It can become just part of the scenery. Maybe some historical
background can give you a renewed sense of wonder for one of our
A monument to our First President and Commander-in-Chief
of the Continental Army, George Washington was proposed just ten days
after his death in 1799. However, not much progress was made on even
getting a design until 1832, the year marking the 100th anniversary
of Washington's birth, when the Washington National Monument Society
was formed. They raised funds, and held a competition for a design for the
In 1836, the project was awarded to
architect Robert Mills. The society liked his design of an obelisk, but
they were concerned about the cost of building the colonnade he
had planned for around it. They were hoping that the actual building of the
monument would stimulate donations for the surrounding projects.
The cornerstone for the monument was
laid in 1848, in an elaborate celebration on the Fourth of July.
In 1854, when donations ran out, completion of the project was in jeopardy. The
American spirit of ingenuity proved itself, however, when a plan was
devised to solicit donations of stones for the structure from the
various states and territories. This snowballed into donations, not only
by the areas mentioned, but by American Indian tribes, professional organizations,
societies, and even foreign countries.
That explains the rich variety of stones used, such as marble,
granite and bluestone gneiss.
The stop and go history of the
construction of this monument would fill a book. Space does not permit even a
thumbnail sketch of the swirl of events that affected the progress of the
project. However, it was completed,
and it is the tallest stone structure and the tallest obelisk in
the world, rising to 555', 5 I/8” high. It is currently closed for
repairs to damage caused by an earthquake and Hurricane Irene, both in 2011.
It is wonderful to live in such proximity
to this testament to our nation's history. If you need to buy or sell a home in
NoVA, please allow JC Advantage
to be of assistance. Our office is at 8245
Boone Blvd, Suite 410 in Vienna. Call us at (703) 442-0007 Ext. 1,
or send us an email at email@example.com.