We’ve found some of the coolest things to see in DC
A mini Washington monument hidden under a man-hole, a huge chair, and a bare-chested George Washington… These are some of the most random yet cool things to check out in DC!
1. Bare-chested George Washington statue
Known as the “Enthroned Washington,” this colossal statue of George Washington was commissioned to artist Horatio Greenough for the centennial of President Washington’s birth in 1832. The statue was originally kept on the Capitol lawn until 1843 when it was moved to the Smithsonian Castle due to heavy criticism from the public. The artist depicted the president sporting his characteristic hairdo and a set of barely-there ancient robes that show off his enviable six-pack. Scandalous!
The statue is now kept in the National Museum of American History located on the National Mall where you can view it for free.
2. The Lincoln Book Tower at Ford’s Theatre
This 34-foot tower is made solely of books about Abraham Lincoln sits in the middle of the Ford’s Theatre Centre for Education and Leadership. Made out of 205 real titles, the tower was built as a tribute to the late president who was fatally shot at the Ford’s Theatre in 1865. The tower is meant to symbolize the fact that the last word about President Lincoln will never be written.
Find it at Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St NW.
3. The Darth Vader “Gargoyle” at the National Cathedral
While the cathedral’s west towers were being built in the 80s, National Geographic World ran a design-a-carving children’s competition and the drawing of the famous villain came out as the winner. He now sits atop the Northwest tower staring intently down at passersby. Vader can be hard to spot with the naked eye, so make sure to bring your binoculars!
Find it at the National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW.
4. The Washington Mini-Monument
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A 12-foot replica of the Washington monument lies hidden somewhere around its larger sibling underneath a utility cover. Officially known as “Bench Mark A” this cute replica is actually a Geodic Control Point. In other words, it is a measuring point that helps synchronize all the government’s maps. The control point was built in the 1880s but was kept hidden from the public eye until September 2019, when it was shown to the public for the first time during the reopening of the Washington monument. If you wish to view the mini-monument, be sure to talk to a Park Ranger before removing or touching the utility cover!
Find it at 2 15th St NW.
5. The Big Chair
“Chair” was first built in 1959 by Curtis Brothers Furniture as a larger-than-life publicity stunt to attract more customers. Made originally of pure mahogany wood, this colossal chair held the “World’s Biggest Chair” title until 1997. In 2011, an all-aluminium chair was used to replace the old wooden one which had rotten over time. Now it’s one of the most popular landmarks in the whole of DC
Find it at, 1001-1199 V St SE.
6. The Preamble in License Plates
The 1987 work of art, “Preamble,” by Mike Wilkins brings together license plates from all fifty states and DC that, when read together, spell out the first few lines of one of America’s most famous documents. The piece gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “The United States.” You can view “Preamble” for free at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Find it at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, F St NW &, 8th St NW.
Feature image: Matt 📸, Unsplash