Washington Monument today

Washington Monument.  Robert Mills, architect, 1845-1854;  completed by Thomas L. Casey, 1876-1884

The 550-foot Mills obelisk is the only exception to Congress's requirement that no building in the city may be taller than the Capitol dome.  First intended to stand on a north-south axis with the White House, near the marshy shore of the Potomac River, the location was shifted eastward to firmer ground. Land reclamation later pushed the riverbank westward for an extended National Mall and a site for the planned Lincoln Memorial. Since the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922, the Washington Monument has been the central focal point on the east-west axis with the Capitol.