Washington Monument, Baltimore
This Landmark is currently closed, its been closed since 2010 so there is no access to the inside. No one seems to know why the monument is closed, but I found out online that there was a car crash that damaged the fence in early 2010. Nonetheless we were able to see it from the outside. It was the very first planned memorial to commemorate George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the nation. It precedes the one in Washington, DC. It is located across the street from Walter's Art Museum in Mount Vernon.
It was designed in 1829 by architect Robert Mills. Since we did not go inside, I can not confirm or deny the fact that there are 228 or 239 stairs to the top; I will say I was really bummed not to be able to go inside. No idea when it will be reopened to the public. But should you visit while it is opened, remember to be in good physical shape prior to attempting the climb. It is a great memorial, I look forward to going back before leaving the East coast.
A trivia question: what do the Washington Monuments in Baltimore and nearby DC have in common besides honoring America's first president?
Answer: both were designed by one man, Robert Mills.
The one in Baltimore completed in 1815 - predating its taller DC counterpart by more than 60 years - may not be as tall and grand, but its intent is no less significant - to commemorate and honor George Washington and his legacy.
Visitors could climb the monument's 200+ steps for grand views of the city, and there is a museum at the ground floor. Inclement weather, however, precluded me from doing these things (I love going up towers and monuments - mainly for photographic reasons - in my travels). Perhaps next time.
Designed by Robert Mills, this George Washington Monument was installed on 25 November 1829 at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Washington Places.
The white marble tower, stretching to a height of 160 feet, is capped by a George Washington statue by Italian sculptor Enrico Causici.
The low, rectangular base contains a museum and 228 steps lead up a spiral staircase to the top of the column where views of the city can be enjoyed.
Baltimore's Washington Monument pre-dates the more famous one in Washington, DC by more than 50 years and is generally regarded as the first one in the country. The marble tower rises 178 feet (the DC one is 555 feet tall) from the highest point in Baltimore. When it was built, ships entering the harbor could see the monument, which is about a mile from the Inner Harbor but with ever taller buildings being built in Baltimore that sighting is no longer possible.
Just 10 years after George Washington died in 1799, a group of Baltimore citizens raised $100,000 for Baltimore's monument. Robert Mills, who later became architect of the more famous Washington Monument, designed Baltimore's tribute to Washington. Concept to completion required 30 years. The relatively simple monument consists of a Doric column rising from a square base and two semi-circular stairways (with 228 steps) leading to a small observation platform with a statue of Washington in a Roman toga at the top. The first time I saw it I had to ask who it was.
There is a small museum which rather briefly chronicles Washington's life as well as the history of the monument. When first constructed that relatively small platform at the top allowed the climber a panoramic view of the city. Today that view is increasingly constrained for the same reason that the monument can no longer be seen from the harbor.
Another lovely feature of the monument is the beautiful fountain behind it. I think it gets overlooked frequently. Be sure to walk around it and check out all the wonderful historical markers also.
In 1810 citizens of Baltimore wanted to build a monument dedicated to George Washington. So they held a lottery to help raise the funds needed and picked Robert Mills, a native of Charleston, South Carolina was awarded the commission for the Monument in 1815. Mr. Mills had a very designed of huge columns. The residents that were next to the first proposed site feared it would eventually fall down and attract lightening no less. So Colonel John Eager Howard donated another site Howards Woods far from any other structures to relieve fears. Construction lasted 15 years, but with soaring cost the enormous monument that was planned was scaled down to what the existing monument you see today. Maybe it is not as elaborated as the one that was planned, but this monument is beautifully down and would make George proud I think.
Yet during construction they still needed a sculpture to design the figure of George Washington on the top of the tower. So Enrico Causici of Verona, Italy, was selected since he had sculpted several panels of the Rotunda of the United States Capitol. Causici created the statue of Washington out of three blocks of marble weighing about seven tons each and once again due to budget restraints he created a more simple design to grace the top of the tower. The sculpture depicts Washington resigning his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental armies. It was completed when the sculpture (approximately 16 feet high) sat on top of the 160 foot high column proudly on November 25, 1829.
Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association
100 Light Street, 12th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
Built in 1829, this was the nation's first monument to George Washington. At the base is a statute of Lafayette.
This is a beautiful monument to President Washington, located on Charles Street. It is a large memorial complex with a column in the middle surrounded by park and statues.