A 555-foot monument to the "father of our country.". The Scene How patriotic is this place? At 555 feet, it's the dominant building on the skyline of the nation's capital, rising above the National Mall on a direct axis between the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial. Its base is surrounded by American flags, which flap crisply in the wind from their hilltop location. It's the prime viewing spot for Washington's famous Fourth of July fireworks.
The Facts The massive restoration of the obelisk began in 1998 and included repairing and polishing the marble exterior, expanding the observation deck and refurbishing the elevator. For visitors, the highlight is the new elevator cab that gives passengers a view of some of the monument's hidden treasures: the 193 commemorative stones donated by states, cities, foreign nations and organizations that are embedded in interior walls. Don't be surprised, though, by the ugly concrete barriers that surround the monument grounds; plans to create a more aesthetic security system are under consideration.