Of America

Washington Monument

It is the central Washington monument, erected as a symbol of state power right between the Capitol and the White House. 

The granite obelisk, 169 meters high and weighing about 91 tons, is faced with beautiful Maryland marble. By the way, you can get to the top of the Washington Monument by lift or by overcoming 896 steps.


The process of creating the monument began in 1832 (this year Washington would celebrate its 100th anniversary). In connection with this anniversary, the townspeople organized the Society for the Creation of the Washington Monument and began to collect donations. By the mid-1830s, they had collected 28 thousand dollars (709 thousand dollars in terms of the 2010 exchange rate [5]) and announced the beginning of a competition for the best design of the memorial.

On September 23, 1835, the leaders of the society outlined their requirements for the project. The very same competition was held in 1836. The winner was the architect Robert Mills. As a monument, he proposed to erect an obelisk crowned with a statue of Washington. It was a column 169.3 meters high, which narrowed towards the top. The covering of the top of the monument is made of aluminum. From below, he surrounded the obelisk with a circular colonnade, which was supposed to be decorated with a statue of Washington standing in a chariot. Inside the colonnade, statues of 30 heroes of the American Revolution were to be placed.

However, due to criticism of the project and its cost - 1 million dollars (21 million dollars in terms of the 2009 exchange rate) - the society did not dare to immediately accept the project. In 1848, it was decided to build an obelisk, and the question of building a colonnade was decided later. By this time, they had collected only 87,000 dollars, but they decided that the beginning of the construction of the monument would increase the amount of donations and enough money to complete the construction.

The modern monument is a hollow column with a four-sided pyramid in its upper part, inside which there is an observation deck with eight windows on all four sides.