Washington Monument & Grounds Historic District
The Washington Monument and Grounds Historic District is locally and nationally significant for its historical and archeological importance in the D.C. landscape.
Constructed in two phases between 1848 and 1885, the Washington Monument stands as a memorial to America’s first president: George Washington. The surrounding historic district is located in the center of the National Mall, bounded by Constitution Avenue on the north; 14th Street, Raoul Wallenberg Place (15th Street), and Independence Avenue on the east; the Tidal Basin on the south; and 17th Street on the west.
The surrounding grounds include the grassy knoll created in the 1880s to cover the monument’s foundation, a network of pedestrian walkways, and D.C.’s world-famous cherry blossom trees. Additional structures within the historic district include the Survey Lodge and Monument Lodge, two one-story buildings constructed with the same granite and marble as the Washington Monument. These structures served visitors, operated as archival space, and functioned as an office upon the monument’s opening in 1888.
Separate contributing structures and objects include: the Jefferson Pier Marker, Bullfinch Gateposts, Washington Globe streetlights, the Elevation Obelisk, Independence Avenue Corridor, German-American Friendship Garden, cobblestone gutters, and the Sylvan Theater.
Today, the Washington Monument and its surrounding grounds remain a popular tourist attraction, as well as a site of festivals and protests, with a wealth of history that stretches from the 1790s into the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
DC Inventory: December 15, 2016