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The Washington Monument Has No Moat

July 7, 2005

For many months, renovations have been underway at the Washington Monument (which the well-travelled P3T3R3K3Y5 correctively calls The Washington Obelisk), and I’ve been entertaining rumors of the new, jersey-barrier-less landscape.

The waiting is over, and the rumors of the moat were highly exaggerated. I ran by there today, and I can tell you that the tourists and landscape architects are happy, and the terrorists have got to be crying in their panel vans. Encircling the monument is an unobtrusive, attractive stone wall which is roughly waist-high. It is paired with a curb-high cement drop on the other side, all of which must be designed to hang up any vehicle which tries to climb the wall. But the whole thing looks nice again, with open sight lines and lots of new sod. Looks better than before, really.

In the post-9/11 DC, I guess we’ll need to spend tons of money to reinforce our high-target buildings, and to make them attractive at the same time. The new Native American Museum and the WW2 Memorial are beautifully impregnable, and now The Monument, too. Everything else is surrounded by rows and rows of those temporary highway dividers.

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