June 2000 & May 2003
A private society began construction of the monument in 1848. Due to a number of political factors, construction halted in 1854. Construction did not resume until 1880, by which time the federal government had assumed full responsibility for the monument. The capstone of the obelisk was finally placed on December 6, 1884, completing the 555-foot monument. The monument was finally dedicated in February of 1885, one day before the anniversary of Washington's birth. However, the last of the finish work on the monument was not completed for another three years. The Washington Monument was officially opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
When looking at the monument, a slightly darker coloring can be seen starting about a third of the way up. This marks the boundary between the earlier and later construction phases. This is a result of the fact that, when construction resumed, workers were unable to make a perfect color match of the older and newer marble.
The first and fourth photos were taken in May 2003, the second and third were taken in June 2000.
Learn more about the Washington Monument.