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Erected in 1896 and part of campus legend for generations of students, the Obelisk demonstrates how long-term exposure to weather affects a wide variety of building stones found throughout Pennsylvania. A plaque on the Obelisk’s east side gives more information. A close inspection of the Obelisk reveals distinct differences in how well some of the 281 stones have withstood the elements. The slate, for example, shows evidence of disintegration. The Obelisk also symbolizes Penn State’s early leadership in mining and mineral education.