Washington Monument Facts for Kids

Have you ever seen the Washington Monument? The tall obelisk and towering structure in the heart of Washington D.C. It towers over a reflecting pool in the U.S. capitol. You may know it as the National Mall. Don’t be fooled! It’s not a shopping center, but you can go inside and even climb to the top! How cool is that? Almost as cool as all the science behind the Washington Monument, which is the tallest building in Washington D.C. Get ready to learn all about it with these Washington Monument facts for kids.

Building the Washington Monument

Construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848, headed by Architect Robert Mills. Construction work paused several times due to lack of funds. It wasn’t until 1884 that the monument was finally completed. That means, it took over 30 years to build the Washington Monument!

The Washington Monument was built in two phases, the bottom part and the top part. You can actually see the break between phases in the slightly different shades of stone around the Monument.

Did you know it cost over $1 million in public funds to build the Washington Monument? That’s a lot of money!

Washington Monument Facts for Kids – Why Was the Washington Monument Built

The monument was built in memory of George Washington, who was the first U.S. President. George Washington also served as a commander and General Washington in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Did you know that?

The Size of the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is a 555-foot tall stone structure in Washington, D.C. Anyone know why it’s that tall? The original plan was actually to make the structure 600 feet tall but they capped it off at 555 feet exactly. It is the tallest structure in the city and was built to a height of 555 feet so that it’s height would be ten times larger than it’s width at the base. That means the base of the Washington Monument is 55 feet wide.

The Washington Monument is the tallest free-standing stone structure in the world! The outer walls of the monument are made of more than 20,000 sandstone, granite, and marble blocks.

The pyramid at the top of the Washington Monument weighs more than 15 tons! That’s 30,000 pounds! And that’s only a fraction of the entire structure. Can you imagine how much the entire Washington Monument weighs? Any guesses? If you guessed 100,000 tons, you would be correct. That’s right! The entirety of the Washington Monument including its foundation weighs 100,000 tons!

Climbing the Washington Monument

Did you know you can actually climb the Washington Monument? There is an observation deck at the top of the Washington Monument that offers amazing views of Washington, D.C. Would you climb to the top?

There are two different ways to get to the top of the Washington Monument – you can take an elevator or you can climb the stairs. It takes about 3 minutes to ride the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument. If you choose to climb the stairs, it will take you about an hour to reach the top. I know which route I’m taking!

There are 896 steps to the top of the monument and 36 windows along the way, each one offering a unique view of the city. The interesting thing about this though is that the windows are so small compared to the rest of the structure that it almost appears that there are no windows at all. Take a look the next time you are in Washington D.C. or look up a picture and you’ll see (or won’t see) what I’m talking about.

The first person to climb to the top of the Washington Monument was a 12-year-old boy named Frankie Bunnell.

Fun Washington Monument Facts for Kids – Light it Up!

The Washington Monument is lit up at night with different shades of different colors, making it even more of a beautiful sight to see! You can also check it out on July 4th to see a beautiful firework display of colors illuminating over the Washington Monument and the White House.

Interesting Washington Monument Facts for Kids

The Washington Monument is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city with over 1 million people visiting the Washington Monument each year from various states. People of the United States aren’t the only ones to visit the Washington Monument though. People from foreign countries all over the World come to visit the incredible sight. Would you go and visit it?

More Interesting Facts for Kids

The Washington Monument has been damaged by lightning strikes, fires, and earthquakes over the years, but it has always been repaired. Unfortunately, only some of the original stone remains.

There are 50 American flags flying around the monument, one representing each state in the United States of America. Talk about pride!

You can take a tour of the inside of the Washington Monument, or you can just admire it from the ground.


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