On this day in 1888, America’s favorite obelisk, the Washington Monument, opened to the public.
Construction began on July 4, 1848 for a 600-foot monument to honor America’s first president, George Washington. However, construction ceased in 1854 when the tower was only 152 feet tall due to lack of funds and more pressing problems in America (*cough* Civil War *cough*). Work on the monument began again in 1876, but with a slightly different color of marble. This is why the first 152 feet of the Washington Monument are a different hue.
In addition, it was determined after the Civil War that the foundation could not support a 600-foot monument, as originally planned. It stands today at 555 feet, and, by law, no other building in Washington, D.C. is allowed to be taller.
In the end, I really like the imperfections of the Washington Monument. They are a physical reminder of the resilience of a nation that was once divided but came together in the end.