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This monumental obelisk was built to honor George Washington, America’s first president, and stands today as the world’s tallest freestanding stone structure. Construction began in 1848, but a lack of funds, political squabbling, and the Civil War interrupted the work from 1854 to 1877. A clear change in the color of the stones can be seen about one-third of the way up the monument; the slightly darker stones at the bottom were placed before construction paused, while the lighter stones above it were brought in from a different quarry following the Civil War.