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Baltimore - Mount Vernon: Washington Monument and Lafayette Monument | by wallyg
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Baltimore - Mount Vernon: Washington Monument and Lafayette Monument

The Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills, was installed at the intersection of Mt Vernon Place and Washington Place on November 25, 1829. The 160-foot white marble tower is capped with Italian sculptor, Enrico Causici's 18-foot statue of George Washington resigning his position in the Continental Army at the Annapolis statehouse in 1782. A low, rectangular base contains a museum and 228 steps spiral up to the top of the fluted column, where incomparable views of the city are available from four portals. The iron fence around the base, containing some of the symbolism removed from the initial column design due to cost considerations, was designed by Mills and added in 1838.


The Baltimore Washington Monument was first proposed in 1809. It was to be the nation's first architectural monument dedicated to President Washington. In 1811, the first of six lotteries was held, to raise funds, and Mills' design was chose in an architectural competition in 1815 and the cornerstone was laid on July 4 of that year. Robert Mills, the first architect born and educated in the United States would later achieve greater fame for the design of national Washington Monument in DC.


The Lafayette Monument, sculpted by Andrew O'Connor Jr., was dedicated in the shadow of the Washington Monument on South Washington Place in Mount Vernon on September 6, 1924. The equestrian statue of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, was the last major piece of sculpture added to the Washington parks and not without its detractors. When , landscape architect, Thomas Hastings, of Carrère and Hastings, who was hired to relandscape Mt. Vernon Place, decided to install the monument in 1919, many objected because such a large sculpture and base would block the view of the Washington Monument from the south. Hastings prevailed and five years later, on the anniversary of Lafayette's birthday, O'Connor's 16-foot tall bronze monument was dedicated atop a 20-foot tall cockeysville marble base.


Mount Vernon Place Historic District National Register #71001037 (1971)

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Taken on July 30, 2006