On a knoll between the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol, rises this 555-ft marble obelisk, a tribute to George Washington. Surrounded by 50 American flags (one for each state), the monument is a notable DC landmark, visible from many locations throughout the city.
Preceded by many years of controversy regarding finances, location and design, ground was finally broken in 1848. The monument wasn't completed and dedicated until 1888 (by Chester A. Arthur), due to problems with lack of funding, and squabbling within the Monument Society.
Today, an elevator takes visitors to the 500 ft observation room for fabulous views of major DC landmarks. The public is no longer permitted to climb the stairs, since on one particularly hot day, numerous people collapsed from heat exhaustion while trying to reach the top. The DC emergency services system was overwhelmed in trying to respond.