Local

Alternate Washington Monument Designs

Sure, we know what the Washington Monument looks like today, but oh, what could have been...

10 photos
1/10
Library of Congress
2/10
Shutterstock
The Washington Monument towers over the National Mall. But did you know the monument wasn't supposed to look like this when designed?
3/10
Library of Congress
This was the original design of the Washington Monument, as imagined by Robert Mills.
4/10
Library of Congress
He called for a neoclassical plan that provided for a nearly-flat-topped obelisk surrounded by a circular colonnade on which would stand a statue of Washington in a chariot. Inside the colonnade, statues of 30 prominent Revolutionary War heroes would be displayed.
5/10
Library of Congress
Obviously that didn't happen. Here is what the monument looked like in 1860. It was like this for about 25 years due to a lack of funds, political turmoil, and uncertainty about the survival of the American Union.
6/10
Library of Congress
Mills' design was the winner among those submitted to the Washington National Monument Society, which asked for ideas in 1836. The other designs that didn't win included the following. This was William Wetmore Story's submission.
7/10
Library of Congress
The design by John Froze.
8/10
Library of Congress
The design by M.P. Hapwood.
9/10
Library of Congress
The design by Paul Schulze.
10/10
Library of Congress
And the design by H.R. Searle. Which concept did you like best? How do they compare to what we have today?
Contact Us