Remembering the First US President through the Washington Monument
Built between the years 1848 to 1884, this obelisk stands 169 meters, or 555 feet, was made in memory of George Washington, the first United States’ president. The Washington Monument has been the most protuberant landmark and is the centerpiece of National Mall in Washington, DC. The white-colored tower is surrounded by fifty flags at the bottom that symbolizes each state in America. You need to take the elevator for you to see the full view of the spectacular Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Capitol Building, and the famous White House. Furthermore, the Sylvan Theater is an amphitheater outside of the base of the Washington Monument. This is a popular setting for different kinds of events like protests, rallies, free concerts, commemorative performances and theatrical performances.
The History Beyond the Washington Monument
On the 100th celebration of George Washington’s birthday, John Marshall and James Madison decided that they would take matters personally to create a monument in remembrance of George Washington. It is because in the year of 1783, Pierre Charles I’Enfant had plans to create an equestrian sculpture of Washington that had been approved by the Congress but never had been done. There was competition during 1863 for the design of the monument. And the society had tried in collecting funds to bring it to stand. Robert Mills won the competition in Baltimore and because of his idea on the design; The Washington Monument started it construction.
The construction began with the Society still inviting private organizations and states for their donation of stones. This is possibly will be of usage for the construction. But complications arose when Pope Pius IX donated stones and stole by the American party which is anti-Catholic. They are called Know-Nothings that they had taken in control of the constructions of the Washington National Monument Society. Because of this, the congress refused to donate 200,000 to be a help in the construction because it had been a politicized. Then after it, the support of the public people started to decline. With no more funds collected, the Know Nothings returned the monument to its original supporters. However, the construction had been withheld again due to Civil War. But in the year of 1876, congress agreed to contribute the sum of 200,000 during Independence Day. The design was abridged to simplicity because instead of circular colonnade at the top, they made it as obelisk like those Egyptian’s obelisk. At the top, it was made and finished in aluminum, which is a precious and rare metal at that time. During the year of 1858, the construction was again halted and the resumption had made the stones over 152 feet in a darker shade of color instead of its original color.
The 38 year-construction is open to visitors. When you want to see and be on top, you need to acquire tickets because there are a lot of tourists and visitors every day in The Washington Monument. You can get tickets online but if you don’t have the time, you can still line up in front of the monument to get tickets. Although that you may be sun-kissed because of the long line, you can still check out those sightseeing around the Washington Monument so it’s worth the wait.
Summer Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (May 31 - September 6, 2010)
Rest of Year: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Monument is open daily except July 4 and December 25.
|The Washington Monument is currently closed for repairs due to an earthquake on August 23, 2011.|
Washington Monument admission is Free, but does require a ticket