The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington. The monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5+1⁄8 inches (169.294 m).[n 1] There are taller monumental columns, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.From the Washington Times: : FNC reports Washington Monument may be tilting from quake jolt
It is also the tallest structure in Washington D.C.. It was designed by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s. The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death.
This hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted for a number of years. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888.
Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France. The monument stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
By Kerry Picket
Published on August 23, 2011, 02:42PM
*UPDATE: The Hill is reporting that the Park Service is stating there is no serious damage to any of D.C.'s national monuments:
U.S. Park Police in Washington made an initial survey of the city's monuments after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and found no serious damage.
According to The Washington Post, the Park Police checked the monuments by by helicopter shortly after the earthquake on Tuesday.
A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered around Richmond, Virginia was felt as far as New York City and New England.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported at 2:30 pm their bureau received information from a producer saying that a Captiol Hill Police officer was saying the Washington Monument may actually be tilting as a result of the earthquake.
Seismologist John Rundle joined Kelly on her show and confirmed that the Washington Monument could very well be tilting as a result of the earthquake and the structure should be checked out.
Two nuclear reactors have reportedly been taken off line near the epicenter of the earthquake.
According to the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep.
Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
It was centered near Louisa, Va., which is northwest of Richmond and south of Washington.
Obama and many of the nation's leaders were out of town on August vacation when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT. The shaking was felt on the Martha's Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.
The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking.At Reagan National Airport outside Washington, ceiling tiles fell during a few seconds of shaking.
Authorities announced it was an earthquake and all flights were put on hold.
At the Pentagon in northern Virginia, a low rumbling built and built to the point that the building was shaking. People ran into the corridors of the government's biggest building and as the shaking continued there were shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"