View of Washington Monument toward entrance as visitors approach.
Of all the Presidents of the United States, George Washington is the most celebrated. Efforts to honor his legacy began during his lifetime and continue to this day. He has been memorialized through the naming of the Federal capitol, universities, streets, counties, and the state of Washington. He has been remembered in works of art and monumental buildings. But nothing has captured the imagination of people world-wide like the Washington Monument. The marble, granite and sandstone structure was designed by Robert Mills, a prominent American architect in the 1840s. Although the construction began in 1848, it was not completed until 1884 almost 30 years after the architect’s death. This hiatus was due to funding issues and the construction was also interrupted by the American Civil War. When completed it was the world’s tallest structure until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was constructed. This Nathanial Currier print shows the obelisk, an Egyptian motif, surrounded by a colonnade that was never actually built. The Washington Monument is still the tallest obelisk in the world.