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 The partially completed monument in 1860
Construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 but wasn't finished until 1884 due to financial problems and the Civil War. It's purpose is to honor the nation's first President. It is not only the world's tallest stone structure but also the world's tallest obelisk, reaching a height 555 feet and 5 1/5 inches. The monument is made of marble, sandstone, and granite. If you look closely at the main image, you should notice a change in the shade of stone about a quarter of the way up. This is where construction was resumed after years and years of just sitting there incomplete.
 
The cornerstone of the structure was placed on July 4, 1848, and the capstone was placed on December 6, 1884. On October 9, 1888 it officially opened. Today, visitors can get a ticket and ride the elevator up to the top where they are treated to a spectacular 360 degree view of Washington D.C.
 

Notable Appearances In Video Games

Fallout 3 takes place in the ruins of Washington D.C. and the surrounding area. During a quest for Three Dog they are told to head up to the top of the monument using the elevator and place a dish at the top so the radio station's broadcast signal is stronger. It also appears in Modern Warfare 2 during the attack on the United States.  

Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side features the monument in the Senator's stage. As a stage fatality, a character can be impaled on it.

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