Quite possibly the most famous monument in the United States, the Washington Monument has been the world's tallest stone structure since its completion in 1884, standing 555 feet, 5 inches tall.
The Washington Monument was built to commemorate America's first father, George Washington. George Washington was and will forever be symbolized as the hero that led America to victory in the American Revolution, which is why Congress authorized the building of this monument following his death in 1799. The Washington Monument has now grown to represent not only the legacy of George Washington, but also the United States government and the city of Washington D.C.
The Washington National Monument Society held a competition for the best monument design, which was won by Robert Mills, a well respected architect around Washington D.C. Mills' original design was much more elaborate than the finished product. A lack of funding and construction delays caused the final monument's design to be altered and the project being finished over forty years after the start. Because of the lengthy time in finishing the project, Thomas Lincoln Casey was handed the responsibility of completing it with more modern technology and knowledge.
The Washington Monument is made of bluestone gneiss, marble, and granite. In an effort to save money and make it a truly national monument, states were encouraged to send in stones commemorating Washington. Stones poured in from various states, organizations, societies, and even Native American tribes, which now line part of the inside of the monument and can be seen during the elevator's ascent to the top.