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The Monument

The Washington Monument is now open!

After being closed since 2010, the Washington Monument is open again after an 18-month, $6 million dollar restoration by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. On July 4, 2015–200 years to the day after the Monument’s cornerstone was laid–the Monument was rededicated and reopened to a huge crowd.

Hours of Operation:

The site will be open to the public year round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

Admission to the gallery and digital exhibits is free.  Tickets to climb the tower can be purchased online or onsite. We are only accepting credit cards at this time.

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR CLIMB TO THE TOP

 

You can also make a reservation for day of or future visits onsite during our hours of operation

Visitors with respiratory or heart conditions or those uncomfortable in small, confined spaces ARE ADVISED NOT TO CLIMB.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Pets, with the exception of service dogs, are not allowed in the Monument.

As there are no storage lockers onsite, visitors are encouraged to not bring large backpacks or other bags, as whatever bags you bring you will be required to keep with you at all times, including on the climb to the top, should you choose to do so.

For safety reasons, a maximum of five people can climb per time slot.

All of the ticket sales proceeds are used for operating costs, including keeping the monument open to the public and maintaining the monument structure.

Please note that there are NO REFUNDS or Rescheduling.  

Climbs are scheduled every 20 minutes starting on the hour. The last climb will be offered 20 minutes before closing.  PLEASE PLAN TO ARRIVE TEN MINUTES BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED TIME.  IF YOU HAVE NOT CHECKED IN BY YOUR SCHEDULED RESERVATION OR ARE A NO-SHOW–YOUR RESERVATION WILL BE CANCELLED WITH NO REFUND.

For the safety of visitors and staff, the monument is monitored by closed circuit cameras.

What about drop-ins?

Guests without reservations are welcome to drop-in and make a reservation for the next available climb.

What can I see and do when I visit the interior of the Monument?

The interior of the Monument has two principal visitor spaces: 1) the gallery which includes interactive digital exhibits and 2) the stair tower and lookout.

1) Visitors to the Monument’s gallery are greeted by a heroic bust of George Washington that has faced the south entrance since 1843. In 1915, a handsome bronze memorial plaque was installed nearby commemorating the Monument’s Centennial.

The restored gallery space includes interactive touchscreens providing a virtual tour of the Monument, both exterior and interior. The virtual tour includes examples of views from the Monument’s several levels, including live camera feeds from the top showing the view in all four directions. The interactive screens also provide a beautifully illustrated history of the building of the Monument, and key moments in the development of the surrounding squares of Mount Vernon Place.  A separate video kiosk provides an overview of the history of the Monument and Mount Vernon Place, as well as videos regarding the Monument’s 2014-15 restoration.

2) The stair tower consists for 227 marble steps that spiral to the top through nine rotations. At the top, a lookout area provides magnificent views in four directions.  Please note, that for safety reasons, the Fire Marshall has determined that the upper balcony is no longer accessible to the public.

What do I need to know about climbing?

The stair tower is about 130 feet from its base to the top (approximately 13 stories), so be prepared to get your cardio in for the day! We strongly recommend close-toed shoes with good tread–the Monument’s 227 steps have been climbed by countless visitors over the last 200 years, which has worn them in places. They are perfectly safe, but please take your time.

Each group is allotted 20 minutes to make your entire trip. We estimate it takes between 3-5 minutes to make the climb to the top. While there, you can catch your breath, look around and take photos, and then make your way back down. A staff member in the gallery will use an intercom at the top to let you know if you are nearing the end of your time.

If you have a heart or respiratory conditions, or are sensitive to close, tight spaces, the tower climb is not recommended. However, the touchscreens in the gallery stream live feeds of the view from the top, so you can share in your companion’s experience!  Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Due to safety limitations, we can only let a maximum of five people in the tower at any given time. Sorry, children don’t count as half! If you want to climb by yourself, you absolutely can! If there are no other guests in your time slot, a staff member will accompany you for your safety.

What to bring:

As there are no concessions at the Monument, in warm summer months you may want to bring a bottle of water with a closed top. Food and other beverages are not allowed. Only bottled water is allowed in the Monument.

As there are no storage lockers onsite, visitors are encouraged to not bring large backpacks or other bags, as whatever bags you bring you will be required to keep with you at all times, including on the climb to the top, should you choose to do so.

Pets, with the exception of service dogs, are not allowed in the Monument.

Bring a camera! Visitors are welcome to photograph and document their trip to the Monument. The use of tripods and drones is prohibited inside the Monument fence and Monument proper. Commercial photography, or photography intended to promote commercial interests is not permitted inside the Monument without the express written consent of the Conservancy. (For drone use in Mount Vernon Place, see our page on the Park Squares.)
 

What can I do at the Lookout at top?

When you reach the lookout area at the top of the climb, you will be able to see the city of Baltimore from approximately 250 feet above sea level–these vistas in four cardinal directions have captivated visitors for almost two centuries. For safety reasons we are not able to let guests onto the balcony at the top. But, you can revel in the accomplishment of having climbed 227 steps in order to enjoy such a view.

Is the Monument air conditioned?

The Monument is not air conditioned in order to protect the structural integrity of this masonry building. If you are visiting in the hot summer months dress appropriately.

In the wintertime the museum level is moderately heated, but the stair tower is not. The Conservancy reserves the right to limit access to the stair tower in the event of extreme heat or cold.

Are their restrooms or amenities at the Monument?

No. We encourage visitors to plan in advance if they think they might need to use a restroom or need supplies such as water while at the Monument.

Group reservations and tours:

The Conservancy is happy to accommodate group visits to the monument! Due to the intimate scale and physical capacity of the monument, groups larger than 15 people should contact staff to schedule a group tour. Staff availability permitting, gallery visits and tower climbs are possible Wed.-Fri. before the Monument opens to the public. A fee will be charged. For more information on group climbs, please contact Monument@MVPConservancy.org with your contact information, preferred date and the size of your party.

I’m not able to visit the monument, but would like to learn more about it:

Please click on the “Digital Exhibits” tab on the homepage of our website (www.MVPConservancy.org) to access the virtual visitor experience.  This is the same module that is available on-site, except that it does  not incorporate live camera feeds from the top at this time.  You can also access videos about the Monument Restoration process at Conservancy Videos or visit our Facebook page which has served as a restoration blog over the past 18 months which includes many behind the scenes photographs of the restoration.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the newly reopened Washington Monument. Please email Monument@MVPConservancy.org if you have questions or call 410-962-5070. Have a wonderful visit!

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