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  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
  • The Washington Monument, designed by Robert Mills and eventually completed by Thomas Casey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, honors and memorializes George Washington at the center of the nation's capital.
  • Built in the shape of an Egyptian obelisk, evoking the timelessness of ancient civilizations, the Washington Monument embodies the awe, respect, and gratitude the nation felt for its most essential Founding Father.
  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
  • The Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.

The Washington Monument on the National Mall

Dominating the skyline of Washington, DC the Washington Monument stands at 555 feet tall. The view from the Observation Platform is stunning, showcasing the entire National Mall and much of the District of Columbia below in all directions.

The Washington Monument that we know today is an obelisk- a tall four-sided design used by ancient Egyptians, then by the Greeks and Romans. Originally the Washington Memorial was planned to be a simple statue of George Washington on horseback!

Then things changed on the ground, literally – the actual land around the hill where the Monument stands today was expanded by reclaiming swampland behind the White House, and the new, much larger, more powerful design by Robert Mills that we see today was begun in 1848 to honor our first President.

Then things took another dramatic turn in the mid 1850’s: funding for the Washington Monument ran out at the same time the American Civil War was brewing. Congress was deeply distracted by the impending War Between the States and the Washington Monument project was halted for almost 20 years. This long pause in construction at the 152 foot level caused the color shift in the stone we can still see today on the Monument. After 20 years of waiting for new funding it was impossible to match the original stones!

Eventually, the Washington Monument was open for tours in 1884- complete with an Otis elevator – and for 127 years visitors either climbed the steps or rode the elevator for 12 minutes to the Observation Tower. In 2011 all this changed when a 6.9 earthquake centered in nearby Virginia caused colossal damage to the stones and elevator. The earthquake led to the closure of the Monument for 3 years for basic repairs.

By 2019 the Washington Monument completely reopened –after a state-of-the-art elevator was installed. Free tickets (with small booking fee) are released daily for tours that include a 2-minute ride up to the Observation Platform.