There are very few places in Washington DC to get a view of the city from up high.
In 1910, the 61st United States Congress enacted a new height restriction law limiting building heights to 130 feet, or the width of the right-of-way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts, whichever is shorter.
The Washington Monument (technically not a building) is 555 feet tall. When it was built in 1884 it was the tallest structure in the world. That lasted about 5 years. It is still the tallest structure in Washington DC.
One of the things we wanted to do during our vacation in DC, but couldn’t, was to go up the elevator in the Washington Monument for an aerial view of the city. Unfortunately, while we were there it was closed for the final stages of restoration from the earthquake of 2011*. Click here to see videos of the damage and, at the bottom of the page, 3 videos shot by security cameras during the earthquake.
The Cross family from Michigan was at the top of the Washington Monument when the quake struck. They said that they felt the 555 foot monument sway nearly a foot, and said they felt pieces of the monument falling on them. ABC News
*This is the same earthquake that damaged the Cathedral (see Gargoyle post for more information). They were the only buildings in DC damaged.
|Washington Monument, March 2014
Getting Its Cracks Fixed
The Pilgrim Observation Gallery at the National Cathedral is only 150 feet high but the Cathedral is built on high hill. Tour groups aren’t allowed on the elevator. Large windows provide unobstructed 360-degree views. I only saw 5 other people when I was up there!
|Washington DC Skyline
Capitol to Washington Monument
Photo taken from Pilgrim Observation Gallery, Washington National Cathedral
|View of Washington DC from Pilgrim Observation Gallery
In the picture above:
- The large building in the left front is the Vice President’s Residence.
- The Building on the right front with the green roof is the U S Naval Observatory