Washington DC, one of the most populous cities in the United States of America, houses many historical museums and monuments that invite tourists to the place. One of such famous and attractive places in the district is the iconic Washington Monument.
Washington Monument is a structure on the famous National Mall and was built to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. This famous landmark was designed by a famous American architect Robert Mills, and was built in between 1848 and 1884. The monument was open to the public from 1888.
Below are some facts about the Washington Monument.
- You have to climb 896 steps to reach the top of the gigantic Washington Monument.
- In 1971, the stairs to climb up the Washington Monument was closed to the visitors; the stairs to climb down was closed in 1976 due to the damages made to the property by the public and due to other safety concerns. Since then, the authorities appointed a ranger, who led groups of people to tour the monument, but due to the staffing issues, this was often limited.
- The monument is a freestanding architecture, which means the blocks of the monument is not attached together using cement or any other binding agent.
- It took 8-10 minutes to complete an elevator ride to the Washington Monument earlier, and a common myth that prevailed then was that the elevator ride is not safe for women and children.
- Washington Monument is the tallest building in the district. According to the DC’s height law, “No building can be built more than 20 times taller than the width of the street in front of it or 160 feet, whichever is shorter.” However, this restriction is not applicable to the Washington Monument, making it the tallest building.
- Aluminum is used to make the cap at the tip of this massive structure, which was rare and new at that time.
- When originally built, Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world, with a height of 555 meters. This record was broken later, when the iconic Eiffel Tower was built in 1889.
- If you observe well, you can see that the color of the marbles changes at the 152-foot mark. This was because, they stopped the construction of the monument for certain time, as they lack sufficient fund. Later, when the restarted the construction, they used marbles from another quarry.
- If you try to construct a monument like this today, you will have to spend a whopping amount of $30 million. When the monument was built, the expense came to be around $1 million.
- The ladle used to lay the cornerstone of the structure was the same ladle that was used by George Washington to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol Building in 1793.