On the day after the earthquake hit Washington, The Post called the Washington Monument “reportedly the tallest free-standing masonry structure in the world” [“Structural damage will take time to assess,” news story, Aug. 24]. Reports such as that, though persistent, are wrong. The monument lost that title on Nov. 30, 1918, when the last bricks were set atop the smokestack of the Anaconda copper smelter in Anaconda, Mont. Details make the difference.
The massive stack, now a Montana state park and Superfund site, towers 585 feet 1.5 inches tall. That includes a 30-foot-tall concrete base. Above the base, the free-standing masonry stack, built of 2,446,392 custom-made bricks, stands 555 feet 1.5 inches high.