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Washington Monument Monograph As Designed by Henry S. Searle, Architect, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D. C.: Gibson Brothers Printers, 1847


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In making this design several ideas presented themselves which seemed important to be considered: First, would the foundation sustain the weight of the required height, and especially with the increased localized pressure in a storm of wind ; second, the mere obelisk appeared only as an enlarged plagiarism, in no way illustrating the memory of Washington personally, or those connected with him, or the history of this growing country; third, there is nothing whatever sthetic about it, and nothing that would impress the visitor, whether native or foreign, with the grandeur of the work of Washington and his coadjutors in founding this nation ; and, last, to utilize the work already done, so that we should not earn the name of a people who build but to tear down.

The first question was an important one, as it really con-trolled the whole construction, for if the Monument would not withstand the force of the elements it would be useless to build it.

According to the report of the Board of Officers of the Corps of Engineers, consisting of Colonel J. D. Kurtz, General J. C. Duane, and General Q. A. Gillmore, appointed to examine and report upon the stability of the foundation, the soil on which the structure stands would be compressed three-sixteenths of an inch by the weight of the proposed height of this design, if the pressure was purely a perpendicular one; but when there is a heavy wind-storm the pressure upon one side of the shaft produces too great a weight upon the soil under the opposite side. While it was from choice, for harmony of design, that the base of the Monument is made in three pyramidical terraces, it at the same time gives an opportunity to so



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