The Washington Monument dedicated on 21 February 1885


The Washington Monument dedicated on 21 February 1885
From the U.S. Army Engineer School Historian’s Office

Thomas Lincoln Casey.  Source: http://americanhistory.si.edu/westpoint/history_4c1.htmlAlthough the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid in 1848, construction progressed sporadically for the next thirty years because of inadequate funding, poor management, and the American Civil War. Only one third of the monument was finished in 1876 when, during the nation’s centennial celebration in 1876, Congress appropriated $200,000 to complete the project. This task fell to Major Thomas Lincoln Casey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Before adding to its height, Casey checked the plumb of the structure and discovered it was not vertical because the original builders had placed the footings on clay instead of stone. Fixing this error required undermining 75 percent of the monument and taking its foundation down to bedrock. After nearly a decade of work, the Washington Monument’s dedication finally occurred on 21 February 1885, and the 555-foot tall obelisk opened to the pubic three years thereafter. Thomas Lincoln Casey went on to become a Photograph c. 1860. Source: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cwpbh.03248/brigadier general and the Chief of Engineers from 1888 to 1895.  In addition to the Washington Monument, the Corps of Engineers supervised construction of several other prominent buildings in the nation’s capital, including the Library on Congress and the Lincoln Memorial. 

 

 

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