The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument

Washington Monument Credit Josh Hettinger

In the heart of the nation’s capital is the 555-foot marble monument to the first president of the United States and founding father, George Washington. Designed in the ancient Egyptian style of an obelisk, the Washington Monument is an icon of timelessness.

Several future presidents were present for the laying of the cornerstone on July 4, 1848, including James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, and Andrew Johnson. When it was completed in 1884, the monument was the tallest building in the world including the aluminum pointed cap topping it off at 555 feet, 5.125 inches.

Throughout the years, the Washington Monument has remained one of the country’s most visited monuments and a symbol of American history, freedom, and the fight for civil liberties. Though it is no longer the tallest building in the world, the monument is still the tallest in Washington, D.C. Climb to the 500’ level observation deck to look over the city’s landmarks at your leisure and then go down one story to the 490’ level museum. When you are finished, ride the elevator back to the ground floor and walk around the reflecting pool or over to the Lincoln Memorial to continue your historic tour.

For those with disabilities, elevators and park ranger assistance is available. The National Mall and parks are open 24 hours a day though early morning and twilight are the most beautiful times to look out from the observation deck over Washington’s skyline.