Washington

Monument

About the Park

Finished in 1884, the Washington Monument commemorates George Washington, first president of the United States. At 555 feet tall, it's the tallest building in Washington, DC and the tallest solid stone building in the world.

Getting there:

  • Parking is available on Constitution Ave. to the north and Independence Ave. to the south.

  • Closest Metro station is Smithsonian, about a half mile walk.

 

Things to know:

  • Tours of the Washington Monument are available at recreation.gov and became available at 10:00 am the day before. Tickets are free but typically are gone within seconds to minutes.

  • The tours are unguided except for the elevator. Once at the top, you are free to spend as much time as you like before going back to the elevator. 

  • The bookstore for Washington Monument is in a small building 500 feet to the east.

 

Washington Monument NPS Site

Discussion Topics

  • The Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world when it was finished. Why do you think it was so important to Americans to build a great monument to George Washington?
     

  • The Washington Monument is in the shape of an obelisk, which was originally used by the Egyptians to honor the Sun God. They were typically placed in front of temples and created such that both the first sun rays of morning and the last rays in the evening touched their peaks. Why do you think an obelisk was used to honor Washington? How would you have created the monument?
     

  • The Lincoln, Jefferson and Martin Luther King memorials all feature giant-sized sculptures of the men they honor. But for the Washington Monument, it's the monument itself, rather than Washington's sculpture, that is the focus. Do you think this is significant? Why?

Maps

Washington National Mall