Last night I attended the lighting of the Washington Monument in Baltimore. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the lighting of the monument, which was built over 200 years ago with its cornerstone laid on July 4, 1815. The monument in Baltimore was the first public monument to honor George Washington, though the monument in Boonsboro, Maryland, was the first completed monument dedicated to the memory of Washington in 1827.
The monument, built of local white marble from quarries north of the city in Baltimore County, was designed by Robert Mills, the same architect who would go on to design the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. A competition was held for the monument’s design and Mills won in 1814 with a design that was originally much more ornamented than the final version. Fourteen years after laying the cornerstone, the main column of the monument was completed when the statue of Washington was raised to its top. The statue depicts Washington resigning his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1783 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis.
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