Washington Monument Reopens To Public

Washington Monument. Image: Rdsmith4
Washington Monument. Image: Rdsmith4

One of the most famous structures in the world reopened after it being closed for repairs for nearly three years.

The Washington Monument is an enormous, white “obelisk”—a stone pillar designed to be a monument. It’s one of the most famous landmarks in the United States.

It was built in 1880s to honour George Washington, the first president of the United States. It stands in the National Mall, a long park in Washington, D.C. The famous Lincoln Memorial is at one end of the Mall and the United States Capitol building is at the other end; the Washington Monument is between the two.

In 2011, an earthquake and later a hurricane did more than $15-million worth of damage to it, creating more than 150 cracks in it and allowing the rain to seep inside it. Its elevator was also damaged.

The monument was covered in scaffolding and underwent repairs for nearly three years.

On Monday the monument was re-opened to the public. People can go up inside it for a spectacular view of the National Mall.

The Washington Monument is made of marble, granite and a type of rock called gneiss.

The National Mall. Image: U.S. Navy photograph
The National Mall. Image: U.S. Navy photograph

At one point, its design included a statue of George Washington standing in a chariot at the top of the obelisk but that design had to be simplified after they ran out of money for it during the American Civil War.

The monument is the tallest stone structure in the world, standing more than 169 metres tall.

At one time it was also the tallest (non-stone) structure in the world; the Eiffel Tower took that title in 1889. Today, the world’s tallest structure is the Burj Khalifa, a building in Dubai. Before 2007, the tallest structure was Toronto’s CN Tower.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What are the world’s top 5 tallest structures? Find out the names of the structures and their heights. Draw a bar diagram to compare the heights of these five structures.

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
A monument is a statue, building or structure that honours a famous or important person or event. 

If you had to design a monument in your community, who or what would you honour? What would the monument look like?

Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Language Feature: Homonyms
Prior to reading this article, your definition of a “mall” may have been a place to shop indoors. But this article gives another, very different, definition of a “mall.”

Below are some words that have two very different meanings. Look them up and write down their different meanings:
1. watch
2. kind
3. train
4. fluke
5. bow
6. tear