WASHINGTON – Government surveyors have determined a new height for the Washington Monument that's nearly 10 inches shorter than what has been thought for more than 130 years.
The new measurement to be announced Monday puts the monument at 554 feet, 7 and eleven thirty-seconds of an inch. But ever since the stone obelisk was completed in 1884, the historic height has been recorded at 555 feet, 5 and 1/8 inches. It's a number circulated for decades on tours of the capital and in civics classes about the monument honoring the nation's first president.
So could this be a case of an incredible shrinking monument? No, not even close, says the National Geodetic Survey.
Surveyor Dru Smith says modern international standards call for a different base point than what was likely used in 1884.