Visiting the Washington Monument

The Monument

The centerpiece of the D.C. skyline is the Washington Monument which memorializes and pays respect to George Washington, the United States’ first Commander in Chief and President. Built in the shape of an Egyptian obelisk, this monument represents the foundation laid by George Washington that would be the country we live in today. At the end of his second term as president, Washington could have chosen to be a leader for the rest of his life. He did not choose this, realizing that this could pave the way for a monarchy to resurface. The Washington Monument embodies the awe, respect, and thankfulness our nation has for its first Founding Father.

Construction

Completed in two different phases over the course of 40 years, the Washington Monument witnessed one of the darkest chapters in American history – the Civil War. As a result, work was interrupted and did not resume until 1876. Before 1876, management of the construction as well as the funding was limited and not very organized. However, this changed in 1876 when Congress took over and placed Thomas Casey, of the Army Corps of Engineers, in charge of completing the project. He did so in 1884 and Washington D.C. has never been the same since. At the completion of the monument, it was the tallest structure in the world at 555 feet, 5-1/8 inches.

Visiting the Monument

In September 2019, the Washington Monument reopened to allow visitors and spectators to go to the top. Prior to this, it was closed for repairs due to earthquake damage from 2011. From the top of the monument, you can witness views of the White House, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and all of Washington D.C. There is a reservation fee of $1 to enter the monument and proceed to the top. For more information on what is allowed and what is not allowed please visit the official site of the Washington Monument. 

**Please note that until further notice, the Washington Monument is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Mall

The iconic green space that features the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWI Memorial, and countless other memorials is still open to the public. However, please note that all public restrooms around the National Mall are closed. Tours to go to the top of the Washington Monument are also closed until further notice. Please note that all parking south of Independence Avenue SW, including Parking Lots A, B, and C on Ohio Drive SW, the Tidal Basin Parking Lot, and street parking on Ohio Drive in East Potomac Park is also closed.

Lodging While in Washington D.C.

We hope to have been able to help in planning part of your Washington D.C. itinerary. Additionally, we hope to see you here with us at American Guest House, a bed and breakfast in Washington D.C. conveniently located a 25-30 minute walk to the Washington Monument and surrounding monuments. Furthermore, our DC inn is located in the heart of DuPont Circle and Adams Morgan. As we all continue to navigate a world affected by COVID-19, we hope you stay safe and healthy during these challenging times. See you soon!