Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Get Out! The Washington Monument Is Open Again! (But Who Knows for How Long This Time)

National Park Service
by Peggy Robin

The “Get Out!” column normally comes out on Thursdays but I’ve pushed this one up a day to be able to announce from Day One the reopening of the Washington Monument to the public. It’s also Bastille Day, though it’s not clear if the choice of Quatorze Juillet (that’s July 14th to the non-francophones) was intended to honor the French for their contribution to Washington’s Army in our fight for independence, or just a random coincidenece. Regardless, any day is a good day to bring back this core DC experience.


Oddly, it’s the one DC experience that in my informal survey of longtime Washingtonians may be something you’ve missed. Your children may have been taken there with a school group. You may have accompanied out-of-town guests to any number of Smithsonian museums, the Zoo, or Congress, or even the Library of Congress -- but I have met many, many longtime residents of our city who, when pressed, will admit they’ve never been to the top of the Washington Monument.

Well, here's your chance.....but get your tickets now! Who knows what scenario will transpire to make it close again. Earthquakes? Renovations? Terrorists? New and weirder viruses? Something we haven't ever thought of yet? Don't try to anticipate....just go while the going is good. 


Here's what you need to know:


Tickets are NOT available on-site; get them in advance, online at . From the website:


Purchasing Tickets: The Washington Monument will re-open on July 14th. Tickets will be released at 10 AM ET the day before each arrival date.

Due to COVID-19, the Washington Monument is now allowing visitors to select ticket types which best accommodate your group size, up to four people per group travelling together. Please carefully review the ticket types as every person in your group must have a ticket, including infants. Advanced reservations are required. Tickets listed as “Not Yet Released” will become available one-day before the tour date at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Until further notice, walk up tickets and group reservations will not be available. 


Health and Safety: In accordance with local and federal requirements, including CDC and U.S. Public Health Service recommendations, a comprehensive safety program has been implemented at the Washington Monument that includes timed ticketing and limited entries. These measures include:

• Significantly reduced elevator capacity, limiting trips to 4-8 passengers to allow for physical distancing.

• Face coverings are required for all individuals over the age of two while inside the monument to account for physical distance limitations. Visitors must supply their own masks. 


The Washington Monument dominates the DC skyline as a tribute to George Washington's military leadership, statesmanship, and wisdom. Constructed from marble, granite and gneiss, the monument is the world's tallest free-standing stone structure, towering 555 feet, 5-1/8 inches (169 meters) above the nation’s capital. 


Plans for a national monument began as early as 1783 when the Congress passed a resolution to erect an equestrian statue to honor George Washington. Construction of a privately financed memorial was started in 1848 by the Washington National Monument Society, but faced challenges due to political turmoil and a lack of funds. The US Army Corps of Engineers completed the monument's construction in 1884, and it was opened to the public in 1888. 

Visitors enter the monument and then ascend via elevator to the 500-foot level to behold sweeping views of the city. To learn more about Washington the man, the engineering marvel of the monument, and the design of the city named in his honor, Rangers will be available at each level to provide insight into the stories of this legacy. 



The Get Out Events column is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local (usually) on Thursdays. It’s here today (Wednesday), to let Listserv readers have first crack at tickets for the Washington Monument, which become available at 10 AM on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

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