The United States boasts many iconic monuments like the Statue of Liberty or the United States Marine Corps War Memorial. These achievements in architecture and art all serve different purposes — some are utilitarian like the Golden Gate Bridge, and others are commemorative like the Abraham Lincoln Memorial. Whatever their purpose, these images are stamped into the minds of many Americans as they grow up, even if they have not seen it in person themselves. It’s difficult to imagine a pre-sculpted Mount Rushmore, or a flat field where the Washington Monument ought to be.
However, these things were designed and built by very real people, with their own stories and backgrounds and their own calluses on their hands. They toiled to make something that would last — something that would live beyond themselves and inspire awe and wonder into all those who would look upon their work.
Here is a look at some of the art, monuments and great structures of the United States — before and after their completion.
The Statue of Liberty
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
United States Marine Corps War Memorial
The Golden Gate Bridge
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.