Washington Monument

Washington Monument
LocationWashington, D.C., United States
Area106.01 acres (0.429 km²)
EstablishedJanuary 31, 1848
Visitors467,550 (in 2005)

The Washington Monument is a large, tall, white obelisk near the west part of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was built to remember George Washington, who was the first President of the United States. It is the tallest stone structure in the world, and is 555 feet 5⅛ inches (169.294 m) tall. The monument is made of marble, granite, and sandstone. The monument was started in 1848 but was not finished until 1884. This was because the American Civil War started soon after construction started. Construction continued after the war ended, but the type of sandstone was changed. Because of this, about part of the way up, you can see a change in color of the monument. The monument opened on February 21, 1885 after 19 years total of construction.

Plans of building the monument began even before Washington was elected president.[1]

Visitors to Washington, D.C., can tour the inside of the Washington Monument. There is an elevator which takes people to the top. From the top, it is possible to see the National Mall, the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Earthquake damage

On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, the Monument was cracked by an earthquake. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck Northern Virginia, about 135 km (84 mi) from Washington D.C.[2] After inspection, cracks were found at the top of the Monument. The Monument and the plaza around it have been closed indefinitely. There were early reports that the Monument was leaning. The National Park Service said that while there was damage, the Monument is not leaning.[3]


  1. [1]
  2. "Magnitude 5.8 - VIRGINIA". usgs.gov. U.S. Geological Survey. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  3. Epstein, Jennifer (2011-08-24). "Washington Monument cracked in quake". politico.com. POLITICO LLC. Retrieved 2011-08-24.