The Washington Monument in Baltimore is an iconic tribute to George Washington, a Founding Father of the United States and its very first President.
A symbol of pride, the monumental masterpiece stands tall in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood at the intersection of Washington Place and Mount Vernon Place.
As the first major Washington Monument, this historical landmark is profoundly important to the city’s vibrant culture.
This article explores all there is to know about this colossal column so you can truly appreciate it on your visit to Baltimore!
A Peek Into the Monumental Washington Monument
The Washington Monument has stood proudly on 699 North Charles Street in Baltimore since it was completed in 1829. It was initially designed to be far more elaborate than it is, but financial constraints and safety concerns led Robert Mills, its architect, to simplify the structure.
The monument consists of a large square base, which is home to the gallery, a grandiose Doric column that stands at 178 feet, and a statue of George Washington. Standing at an imposing fourteen feet, the statue depicts George Washington as the Continental Army’s Commander in Chief.
Inspired by Roman architecture, the monument was created using all local, homegrown materials. Most noteworthy is the marble used in the base, column, and state, which came from three Baltimore quarries.
The bronze portraits of Washington’s life all along the exterior and the cast-iron fence around the base make this historic wonder even more marvelous—they were added much later on.
The first Thursday of each December sees Baltimore’s Washington Monument lit up in stunning colors, with live music, food, and fireworks, for the beloved Annual Monument Lighting Festival. This has been a beloved tradition for over half a century and celebrates the structure as an essential part of the Mount Vernon community.
Washington Monument Tickets and Visiting Information
The interior of the Washington Monument is open to the public all through the year, from Wednesday to Saturday, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Visiting hours are from 10 am to 5 pm, providing an ample window of time for visitors to soak in the glorious creation and enjoy every aspect of it.
You can visit the digital exhibits and gallery for free and donate to the Conservancy if you wish.
If you’re looking to climb the 227 steps that will lead you to the top, it costs $4 for children and $6 for adults. Given how priceless the mesmerizing, panoramic view of Charm City is from the balcony, that’s a fairly reasonable fee!
Interesting Facts about Baltimore’s Washington Monument
Here are some fun facts about the Washington Monument that will make you appreciate this historical landmark even more:
- It is the first monument built to commemorate the nation’s first President.
- The landmark is also important to pop culture and has been referenced in John Waters movies and Moby Dick, among others.
- The architect of Baltimore’s Washington Monument also designed the world-renowned Washington Monument in DC.
- The statue at the top of the monument features Washington’s commission in his outstretched hand, facing Annapolis.
- The state commemorates Washington’s resignation and the peaceful transfer of power after the Revolutionary War.
- The Doric column design is the same as that in the Parthenon, a style most popular during the Archaic Period (750 to 480 BC). It has been a beloved design in architecture and history for centuries.
- Two time capsules were discovered during the restoration of the Monument. This includes the original cornerstone, whose location had been unknown, and the 1915 Centennial time capsule, which had been forgotten to time.
- The original cornerstone included a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence.
- The Monument is one of the earliest ones built to celebrate American independence.
While not as intriguing or fun, some other facts you must know about the Monument are that there are no bathrooms inside, and you are not allowed to bring food inside. So, keep these in mind when you plan your visit.
Book Your Baltimore Washington Monument Tour
You can sign up for various tours if you wish to explore Vernon Place and visit the Washington Monument in Baltimore.
The Mount Vernon Place park squares surrounding the Monument are some of the most beautiful urban spaces in the country and are open from dawn to dusk.
Inside the Washington Monument
The interior of the Washington Monument was stuccoed in the 1830s, and wooden doors were installed. They were painted in a manner that resembled Roman bronze doors.
The Monument has a grand spiral staircase, with 227 steps that lead to the very top. The stairs are fairly narrow, with windows that provide natural light and ventilation—you won’t lose your breath as you walk up!
Once at the top, visitors can enjoy a gorgeous panoramic view of the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood and surrounding areas.
The Washington Monument in Baltimore is often confused for and overshadowed by its grand counterpart in the nation’s capital. However, it is still a very important landmark in a city that treasures its history, and definitely worth a visit.
Situated in a vibrant hub in Baltimore, the monument is conveniently located—you won’t have trouble fitting it into your itinerary as you explore the city.
The Walters Art Museum, George Peabody Library, and Maryland Center for History and Culture are all nearby. These destinations will make for an unforgettable day of immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Baltimore.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall is the Washington Monument?
The Washington Monument stands a remarkable 178 feet and 8 inches tall.
When was the Washington Monument built?
Construction work began in 1815, and the masonry was finished by 1829.
Who built the Washington Monument?
The land for the Washington Monument was donated by Colonel John Eager Howard, and the structure was designed by the American Architect Robert Mills.