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THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT
Architect; Author, "History of United States Capital"
thunder-storm, pink in the afterglow, mysterious in the moonlight, vanishing in the mist, lost in the clouds, always majestic, stands the memorial to the Father of his Country.
Its phases forcibly remind us of the shifting and changing fortunes of our great chief. Standing alone, simple and dignified,
-às . Enshrouded in the mists, shadowy, weird, vanishing from sight, a mere suggestion of an outline visible, it recalls the clouded reputation of Washington when surrounded by foes, false comrades, and encompassed by the fierce elements. Black in the thunderstorm, it brings to mind dark days and bridled passions. Apparently floating in the air when the base is obscured by the fog, it suggests his struggles without reasonable foundation or hope. Brilliantly illuminated at its base and the pinnacle lost in the clouds, it typifies great victories with the ultimate results in doubt. Piercing the shifting clouds as they float past, with the base and crown illuminated by the sunlight, it vividly recalls the force which enabled him to penetrate the darkest shadows. Reflecting the pink blush of the evening glow, it points to the brightness dawning as his life advanced. A column of light in the moon's rays, it is a beacon leading us, as did his life, to forget self in our country's service. Glorious in the sunshine, scintillating, brilliant against the clear blue sky, it forcibly reminds us of the great results springing from an unselfish life of duty.
The aluminum crest sparkles as a beautiful star; its rays are beams of light guiding us to patriotic efforts.
A factor in the artistic composition of the city, it is a charming end to many vistas. Viewed from the Capitol, the White House and the Mall, it stands imposing in its grandeur; from the river it rises pure and simple, with the green hills of Maryland as a noble exhedra, and from the heights, visible through the valley, it always produces a thrill of pleasure. In the sunlight and shadow, thunderstorm and mist, in the clouds and in the clear sky, against the golden sunrise and the red sunset, against the midday sky of blue, and the midnight sky scintillating with stars, against the bright white clouds and the dark gray clouds, moving with the wind, bowing to the warmth of the sun, receiving the lightning's stroke, ever changing, it is always stately, always beautiful.
The corner-stone of the Washington Monument was laid July 4, 1848, but soon the work languished and then stopped entirely. Work was resumed in 1876, and the monument was finally completed December 6, 1884. It is 555 feet high and 50 feet square at the base. The entire cost of the monument was $1,187,710.