Capstone of the Washington Monument

Placing the capstone on the Robert Mills-designed Washington Monument, December, 1884

After the years of delay, the exterior of the Washington Monument was finished on a stormy day in December, 1884, with the placement of a metal tip at the top of Robert Mills's obelisk, which had been radically simplified from the original conception depicted in the first panel of this exhibit.  The cornerstone had been laid in 1842; interior work continued until 1888.