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Washington Monument
Fast Facts

 
  Named after: President George Washington
Truly monumental: Monument is the tallest piece of free-standing masonry in the world, standing 555 feet, 5 1/8 inches
Total weight: 81,120 tons
Original cost: $1,187,710 (in 1876 dollars)
Exterior surface: 93,600 square feet
Foundation: The original bluestone foundation proved too weak to support the monument; it was excavated and reinforced with concrete midway through construction
Time capsule: Buried in the cornerstone in 1848, it contains newspapers, coins and currency, a Bible, and information on the Washington family
Obelisk shape: Believed by some to have secret masonic symbolism (George Washington was a mason)
Upside down: Because it was built over nearly 40 years under tight budgets, the monument's best materials are at the top and the worst at the bottom
Past renovations: The last renovation of the monument was in 1934, when engineers repaired extensive lightning damage and replaced 48,046 linear feet of mortar
 

Taller: The Eiffel Tower (left), at 984 feet

 

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