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The world through Renel's lens.



January 2016



Inside the Washington Monument

Written by , Posted in Aerial, Canon 7D, Washington DC

Washington Monument / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3089

After all these years living in the Washington, DC area I finally took the opportunity to go inside the Washington Monument.  It’s been reopened to the public for about seven months after being closed for 32 month of repairs due to damage from 2011 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the area.

I went on one of the coldest days of the year but was able to stand in the lodge to keep warm.  After going through security there’s a small hallway where you wait for the elevator.  After a short wait I was on my way up 500 feet to the observation level.

East: US Capitol

The National Mall is currently under maintenance  but it’s still a great view towards the Capitol.  The buildings on the left with the red tops house the US Treasury Department.US Capitol / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3010

Here’s a closer view with the Supreme Court behind to the left and the Library of Congress to the right.

US Capitol / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3030

US Capitol from the Washington Monument facing east.

NMAAHC / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3041

National Museum of African American History and Culture Museum from the Washington Monument.

West: Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorite memorials!

Lincoln Memorial / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_2982

Lincoln Memorial / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3049

Tip: Same-day tickets are on a first come first serve basis at the back window of Washington Monument Lodge.  You can also reserve tickets in advance online for a small service fee and shipping costs.  The tour wasn’t crowded when I went but during spring and summer months tickets go quickly.

South: Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3021

Jefferson Memorial / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3057

Thomas Jefferson Memorial from the Washington Monument facing south.

North: White House

White House / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_2995

White House / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_2999

Quick facts:

  • The Washington Monument was designed by Robert Mills to honor George Washington.
  • The construction was done in two phases: one private (1848-1854) and one private (1876-1884).  At the time of its completion it was the tallest building in the world at 555, 5 1/8 inches.  It’s still the world’s tallest obelisk and world’s tallest stone structure.
  • The difference in shading of the marble about 150 feet up shows the different phases of construction.
  • The original construction elevator was steam powered and could lift up to six tons of stone.  It was replaced by an electric elevator in 1901.
  • The Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885 will over 800 people in attendance.
  • It has 898 steps and 50 landings to the top.  Various city, state, foreign countries, civic organizations, and individuals contributed 194 memorial stones inserted in the east and west interior walls.  The tour stops to view a couple on the way down.

Sources: Washington Monument history & culture, Wikipedia

Washington Monument / photo by Renel Holton / / IMG_3077

Lobby floor of the Washington Monument

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