The great Washington Monument, that is hard to miss as it is the tallest structure in the U.S. Capital, was officially dedicated by Chester A. Arthur on February 21. 1885. Though a monument for the “father of the country” had been proposed as early as 1783, actually moving forward with such a structure was put off for years; the city planner, Pierre L’Enfant, made sure to leave space for such a monument however. In fact, it wasn’t until 1832- the centennial of Washington’s birth- that a design was finally chosen. The final choice was a hollow Egyptian obelisk designed by architect Robert Mills and the first cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848. Unfortunately construction had to be halted through the 1850s thanks to political turmoil and it certainly did not receive any attention during the Civil War period. Finally, eleven years after the end of the war, congress allocated $200,000 toward its completion in 1876- possibly inspired by the country’s centennial. Nine years later the monument to the great George Washington was complete and a ceremony was held to dedicate this testament to triumph. Three years later it was opened to the public who could climb or ride to the top of the structure, which is still the case to this day.