Washington Monument Facts, History, & Number of Steps One of the first attractions in Washington, DC, the Washington Monument was built in tribute to George Washington, American's first president. The monument, which contains 897 steps and whose height is over 555 feet, provides visitors with views that cover a distance of 30 miles or more.
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Washington Monument History.In an effort to honor George Washington in 1791, Pierre-Charles L'Enfant suggested putting up a statue of him on a horse near the Capitol. But Washington was opposed to the government spending money on him. The next idea was for a building but it never got off the ground. Instead, a monument was planned. Completed in 1884 and opened to the public four years later, the 555-foot structure was, at that time, the world's tallest stone building. To get to the top, visitors could either climb the 897 steps or ride the steam elevator, which took 20 minutes. Today no one is allowed to walk the steps but the elevator only takes a little over a minute. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc72.htm
Washington Monument Admission.It doesn't cost a cent to enter the Washington Monument. However, everyone over the age of two must be in possession of a ticket. Free tickets are distributed every day at the nearby Washington Monument Lodge, which opens its doors at 8:30 a.m. During the peak tourist season (April through November), tickets go fast. A line usually forms by 7:00 a.m. Tickets can be reserved ahead of time by logging on to the National Park Service website at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1.877.444.6777 (individuals) or 1.877.559.6777 (groups). A $1.50 service charge per ticket will be levied. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc72.htm
Washington Monument Facts.There's more to the Washington Monument than meets the eye. The following statistics will attest to that.
- Weight: 81,120 tons
- Height: 555 feet, 5-1/8 inches
- Walls: white marble blocks from Maryland and Massachusetts
- Interior walls: contain 193 memorial stones
- Steps: 897
- Views: in excess of 30 miles
- Renovation: Begun in 1996, completed in 2000, at a cost of $5 million
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