At 555 feet high, it towers over everything in Washington, DC and is one of the tallest masonry structures in the world. Fifty flags surround the base of the Washington Monument, symbolizing the 50 states of the Union. Take the elevator to the top where windows in the observation room will offer superb views of the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, the World War II Veterans Memorial, and the Capitol building.
Robert Mills, the architect and engineer to the federal government, designed this monument in 1838. The actual construction didnít begin until 1848 and was not completed until 1884, almost 30 years after the architect's death, due to lack of funds and the intervention of the Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble (visible approximately 150 feet up) clearly delineates the initial construction from its resumption in 1876. It is generally considered fortunate that the Greek Doric rotunda Mills planned for the base of the monument was never built.