The Washington Monument has served as Washington, D.C.'s centerpiece for over 130 years now, but the familiar obelisk could have turned out much differently. The final design for the Washington Monument was chosen from a competition, which was won by architect Robert Mills. His proposed design for the Monument wasn't a simple obelisk, but an obelisk with a flat top and a circular colonnade at its base. Other architects had differing ideas for the monument as well with styles ranging from neo-Romanesque to neo-Gothic. In the following photo gallery, see over 25 images dating all the way back to the late 1800s with early designs as well as photographs of the Monument's construction.