National Mall Monuments: The Washington Monument

Written by
Jason Barnette
Posted on
August 29, 2014
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Written by
Jason Barnette
Posted on
August 29th, 2014
Share story

The centerpiece of all the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, the Washington Monument towers above the local landscape, dedicated to the first president of the United States. It is viewable from almost anywhere along the Mall, but particularly viewable from both the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building. After an earthquake damaged the monument, it is now reopened for tours inside.

Dedicated to the first president of the United States, George Washington, construction began on the monument in 1848, but it wasn’t dedicated until 1885. Construction was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funding, partially because of the expense of the Civil War. Standing 555′ tall, it’s the tallest structure in the city and looms over the local landscape from its perch on a small hill.

Visitors can explore the large grounds surrounding the monument, take a nap in the grass, or on warm summer days play a game of constant shuffling to stay in the cool shadow of the monument as it moves like a sundial. You can purchase tickets online or at the nearby gift shop for a chance to ride an elevator almost to the top for stunning views from small windows looking out across the city.

Washington Monument Photos

Flag flutter in the breeze around the base of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, on Saturday, August 16, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

United States flags surround the base of the Washington Monument.

The Washington Monument shines like a beach in the night in Washington, DC, on Sunday, August 17, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

The monument is lit like a beacon at night, making it stand out 24/7 along The National Mall.

Night view of the Washington Monument across the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, August 16, 2015. Copyright 2015 Jason Barnette

Some of the most scenic views are from across The Basin near the FDR Memorial. There is a nice trail around the small lake.

The Washington Monument framed by a weeping willow tree in Washington, D.C. on Monday, August 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Jason Barnette

Can you see the color difference near the bottom of the monument? Construction stopped during the Civil War for many years, and when it resumed the engineers used a different quarry with a slightly different color.

If you would like to view more photos from The National Mall in Washington, D.C., please visit my website at

Washington Monument Information

Location – The Washington Monument is the centerpiece of The National Mall, viewable from just about any place along the Mall.

Hours – The grounds surrounding the monument are open 24/7 throughout the year. Tours inside the monument are available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the year, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the summer.

Website –

Things to Know – There is a large gift shop on 15th Street, and several concession stands surrounding the grounds.

Getting There – This is perhaps the easiest monument or memorial to access around The National Mall. You can take a number of bus routes which all make stops near the monument, and walking is easy with its central location.

Handicap Accessibility – This monument is accessible for those with walking disabilities. A gentle concrete slope takes visitors to the base, and an elevator takes you on the tour to the top.


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