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San Jacinto Monument

Houston, Texas
Constructed 1936-1939

Claim to Fame: The San Jacinto Monument was the world’s tallest free-standing concrete tower at the time of construction. The precise monitoring of foundation settlement provided data for testing Dr. Karl Terzaghi’s consolidation theory, a fundamental component of soil mechanics.

San Jacinto Monument
Courtesy Flickr/Andrew

The San Jacinto Monument commemorates the decisive 1836 battle near the banks of the Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River that allowed Texas to win independence from Mexico. It is the world's tallest monument, rising 15 feet higher than the Washington Monument.

In 1936, Daughters and Sons of the Republic of Texas led lobbying efforts to allocate funds for a monument that would mark the importance of the Battle of San Jacinto. Ground was broken on April 21, 1936 - 100 years to the day after the victorious battle.

This towering symbol of Texas' freedom laid the groundwork for many future high-rise structures, particularly those built on expansive soils and/or subject to heavy wind loads caused by severe tropical storms.