Baltimore's Washington Monument pre-dates the more famous one in Washington DC by more than 50 years. It is, in fact, 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. At one time ships entering the harbor could see the monument, which is only 10 blocks from the Inner Harbor. Today downtown's skyscrapers block the vista.
Just 10 years after George Washington died in 1799, a group of citizens organized a lottery to raise $100,000 for Baltimore's monument. Robert Mills, who later became architect of the other Washington Monument, won the commission to design Baltimore's tribute to Washington. Begun in 1815, the grandiose design was scaled back several times before its completion in 1829. A Doric column rising from a square base, the monument is topped with a statue of Washington in a Roman toga.
Visitors can climb its 228 steps for a view of the city from a small observation area. In the base, a small museum with chronicles the history of the monument. Admission is $1.
600 N Charles St.