News & Politics

You’ve Never Seen the Washington Monument Look Like This

Photograph by Angela B. Pan.

That the Washington Monument’s construction was beleaguered by funding troubles, then interrupted by the Civil War, is well-trodden DC trivia: “Can you see where the marble changes color?” tour guides ask. For 23 years, the now 555-foot-tall Egyptian obelisk waited, looking more like a 156-foot stump of architect Robert Mills’s ambitious, if expensive, vision. On a mild and dewy winter morning this year, photographer Angela Pan captured the opposite effect: Its base obscured by fog across the Tidal Basin, the pyramidion—the uppermost piece, finally set in 1884—seems to float above the Yoshino cherry trees.

This article appears in the March 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

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Contributing Editor

Amanda has contributed to Washingtonian since 2016. She has written about the right-wing media personality Britt McHenry, chronicled her night with Stormy Daniels, and come clean about owning too much stuff. She lives on H Street. She can be reached at [email protected]

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