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Washington Monument

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1850, design and initial sculpture, Thomas Crawford. 1869, completed sculpture, Randolph Rogers. Grace St. at capitol grounds
  • (Photo by Katie McCarthy Watts)

In a city known for its outdoor monuments, this was the first. It was also the first equestrian Washington to be erected nationally and helped to generate a national wave of representational memorial sculptures. Sculptor Thomas Crawford won a major competition for the monument and undertook the work in 1849. Crawford's design, including the figure of Washington and those of Jefferson, Mason, and Henry, was partially erected in 1858. The Civil War disrupted completion, and Crawford died. Rogers, a northerner, undertook the remaining work in 1869. The completed monument occupies the important terminus of Grace Street. The design consists of three tiers of pedestals: Washington on top, Virginia patriots in the middle tier, and trophies representing Revolutionary battlefields on the lower tier. Nearby on the square are smaller subsequent monuments to Virginians: Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Flood Byrd, Governor William “Extra Billy” Smith, General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and Hunter Holmes McGuire.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Washington Monument", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 182-182.

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