Thursday, June 4, 2009

Washington Monument

One of the great things about having guests in town is that you get to do all of the cool stuff you don't ordinarily do. Tonight I spent the rainy evening visiting the Washington Monument.
Designed by the architect Robert Mills, the monument to our first president began construction in 1848 and was finally completed in 1884. The interior is made of up beautiful plaques donated from around the world. This one is the largest - from NYC in 1852. One was donated by the pope but was ripped out and trashed by soldiers at one point!
An observation deck is at the top. You can see the interior face of the stone -which is protected by glass panels seen here.
The obelisk rises 555 feet and 5 inches high, the tallest structure in DC. It was the tallest building in the world, beating the Cologne Cathedral and held this distinction until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.The views are spectacular as one would imagine. Visibility was low due to the rain and fog, but you can see the WWII memorial at the base of the following picture, with the lincoln memorial closer to the top.Each view is labeled above the window, as you see here.
The cap at the top is made of aluminum -which was the most precious metal at the time the building was completed due to its' rarity. Now we use it to wrap up leftovers!

Quote by George Washington written in glass inside the observation deck:

"My first wish...is to see the whole world in peace, and the Inhabitants of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most to the happiness of mankind." (1785) AMEN!

The monument was recently renovated with a barrier creating an outer ring for security. An inner ring is made up of American flags.

16 comments:

Purple Flowers said...

Interesting facts and beautiful photos.

Renee Finberg said...

this is a beautiful monument.
again, i think you are lucky to live up there.
xx

Blue said...

This is one fabulous post - you must be thrilled to have done this. Next time I'm in DC I'll get myself winched up to the top for that view!

YSLGuy said...

Of all the times I have visited DC and of the five years I lived there, I think I did every tourist spot except the monument. I'll have to go up to the top on my next visit.

Style Redux 2 said...

Lovely shots-often rain makes photos more beautiful and mystical.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I would highly recommend a visit up the tower! You pick up tickets the day of (early in the morning!) at the base of the monument. I recommend going at night when everything is lit!

Pigtown-Design said...

I like that you can see where they stopped building and then restarted and the colour of the stone changes.

My Notting Hill said...

Great tour - I haven't been up since I've lived here (18 years!) I did go as a kid though - next time we have guests come it's on the list.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

PD, the stone is actually from 3 quarries -but the last 2 are perfectly matched apparently. The difference between the original at the base and the one 150 feet up in the air is that during the civil war troops blew up the quarry the original stone came from! CRAZY!

thomas said...

GREAT post! i haven't been to the monument in years..but this has got me wanting to go and take some good shots of DC!

VictoriaArt said...

You know so much about all that, great post!
I have visitors as well right now to see the sites in Manhattan...

Have a look if you have a moment!

XX
Victoria

Judith. ..de Santa Fe said...

We all need an occasional reminder to be tourists in our own home towns .. .
this was a lovely interior tour.

Jjjj

home before dark said...

In my youth I raced up and danced down the Washington monument, a lovely memory. In Pearls Before Swine, the cartoon strip, I believe it was Pig who expressed concern that that the Washington Memorial didn't even look like him. How lovely to spend a rainy day amid so much symbolism.

vicki archer said...

That is so true - guests make us discover what is right under our noses. I have seen this monument several times but never been inside - thanks for the peak......enjoy the weekend, xv.

pve design said...

Living so close to NY City, it always takes a visitor or tourist to remind me to look up and to find happiness in mankind, and the greatness of the world that has made it all possible. You are always an inspiration and full of a bit of history - I love that.

Abby said...

I love asking all DC locals where they take out of town guests. The WM is definitely on my list, but I sometimes find it hard to get tickets on the day I want, no? What else is on your tourist list?

Here are my tried and true favorites: Sculpture Garden, Gelato at the Cafe in the National Gallery of Art, Drinks at Hotel Washington rooftop when it was open--now the Kennedy Center Terrace.