Washington Monument National Memorial

Update: In August 2011, the Washington, D.C., region experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. Video taken inside the Washington Monument during the quake shows it shaking violently. It was immediately clear that the structure had been damaged, as large cracks appeared.

The monument has been closed to public since the earthquake. The National Park Service studied the site for several months and found that while the monument remains structurally sound, there is extensive damage. The Park Service now expects the monument to remain closed to the public for at least two years while repairs are made. The repairs will dost an estimated $15 million dollars, to be covered by a combination of federal and private funds.

About the Monument 

Everyone knows the Washington Monument–the 555-foot obelisk soaring above the National Mall in Washington, DC. And most people know that visitors to the Monument can get a wonderful 360-degree view of Washington, DC and its surroundings from the observation area at the top. But what's inside the REST of the Washington Monument–below the observation area–is one of Washington, DC's best-kept secrets.

Twice each day, when staffing allows, the Park Service gives walk-down tours.  These tours are exactly what they sound like–visitors ride up to the observation area in the Monument's elevator, and then, with a Park Service guide, walk down to the ground. 

Why would anyone want to walk down nearly 900 steps? The interior of the Monument is filled with nearly 200 memorial stones. These stones – in comes cases simple, in some cases intricately-carved works of art–were donated by states, cities, civic organizations, and even other nations, in memory of President Washington. Park rangers provide a detailed and fascinating history of the construction of the monument during the tour, as well as charming stories about individual stones.

It's a little hard on the knees, but definitely worth the effort!

--Laura Connors, NPCA

wamo.jpg

FIND A PARK:

FIND BY LOCATION:

FIND BY CATEGORY:

FIND BY THEME:

BROWSE ALPHABETICALLY:

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Post a Comment

Share your park story today. Post your park experiences, recommendations, or tips here.*

Nickname
Comment
Email
   
Enter this word:

* Your comments will appear once approved by the moderator. NPCA staff do not regularly respond to postings. We reserve the right to remove comments that include profanity or personal attacks, promote products or services, or are otherwise off-topic. Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the position(s) of NPCA. By submitting comments you are giving NPCA permission to reuse your words on our website and print materials.

Close

Want to learn more about the  ?

The   can be seen in the wild in America’s national parks. Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect parks in   & other states

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect   and other National Parks

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Please leave this field empty
Yes, please sign me up for NPCA’s newsletter and other emails about protecting our national parks!

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

Log In

Or log in with your connected Facebook or Twitter account:

GO

Welcome to our growing community of park advocates. Thanks for signing up!

Sign Up:

Or sign up by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account:

GO