Did you know, D.C.?


Looking closely at the monument, one can notice the distinct color difference.

Washington, D.C. is one of the few places in America that writes history on a day-to-day basis. Many students within the school and all over Arlington have a unique opportunity to witness this history take place. However, the district has hidden facts that even the people who have been raised in this area may not know.
One of those many unknown facts has to do with the Washington Monument. The monument is an obelisk (a stone pillar, typically with a rectangular cross section and pyramidal top) placed on the National Mall. It was built to commemorate the first American president and once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, George Washington.The monument itself was built between 1848 and 1884 to honor Washington’s military leadership during the American Revolution.
The first 152 feet of the monument, which was built between 1848 and 1854, was faced with marble from Texas, Maryland. During construction in 1854, the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money and the project slowly came to a halt. 25 years later, construction resumed in 1876, and the builders discovered that the foundations were inadequate and the monument was sinking and tilting. To stabilize and straighten the monument, wider sub-foundations were constructed to a depth of nearly 37 feet.
In 1879, work resumed on the monument, and four rows of white marble from Sheffield, Massachusetts were laid above the marble from Texas. However, due to issues with delivery and quality control, the contract with the Sheffield quarry was dropped in 1880. This was a problem for the U.S. government which had taken over the project and completed the upper two-thirds of the structure by 1884. As a result, the construction crew that was assigned to finish the upper part of the monument used marble from Cockeysville, a different quarry. The three marbles used in the monument are now distinguished by color differences.
Due to the use of marbles from different quarries during construction, one can note the difference in hues between the first 152 feet of the monument and the rest of the erected obelisk. The monument opened to the public in 1888, striking patriotic feelings into those who viewed it.