The Washington Monument , located near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. , is an obelisk built to commemorate the first U.S. President, General George Washington , who led the country to independence and then became its first President .
The monument, made of marble, granite, and sandstone, is both the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet (169.294 m).There are taller monumental columns, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks. It is also the tallest structure in Washington D.C.. It was designed by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s. The actual construction of the monument began in 1848 but was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect’s death. This hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m or 27%) up, shows where construction was halted for a number of years. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848 , the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world’s tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France. The monument stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
In 1996, the Washington Monument Restoration Project was kicked off with Target Stores joining the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to help restore this national treasure. The restoration project was completed in 2000.
Known as the father of his country, and the leader who was “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”, George Washington (1732-1799) was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1797, leading the American victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army, and presiding over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, he built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.
Washington Monument visitors
Washington Monument can be best viewed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the western end of the Mall where an inverted image appears in the large reflecting pool. Visitors can also take an elevator to the 500-foot observation deck any day from 9 AM until 4:45 PM.
Tickets are available free of charge at a kiosk near the base of the monument or they can be reserved in advance via telephone or on the Internet but cots $2.00 when reserved .