Sunday, October 18, 2009

Better than the Washington Monument

Old Post Office Pavilion

Next time you are in Washington DC and want to get an aerial view, head to the Old Post Office Pavilion instead of the Washington Monument. It has many advantages over the monument.

View of the Capitol from the Old Post Office Pavilion

First you will avoid the long lines if you come in summer. I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes for the next elevator in the Post Office Pavilion and the line is indoors as well instead of out in the summer heat. Most of the time there is no line at all. It is open year round.

Second, the windows at the top are huge with fantastic views in all directions. The windows are open with wires (on 2 sides) to prevent jumpers and people dropping things out of the window, but you can easily photograph between the wires a the edges where the gaps are wider as I have done for these photos. Because the windows are big and open, there is no fighting to get up close to a window the size of a computer screen to see out like in the Monument. It is also cooler in the tower because the windows allow breezes in and because there are fewer people.
View of the Washington Monument from the Old Post Office Pavilion
Thirdly, from the tower you can get a photo of the Washington Monument! Not possible to do this when you are "in" the monument.

And finally, the monument is on the middle of the mall with no food or shopping or toilets close at hand. The Tower on the other hand is in the Pavilion which comes complete with a food hall, shopping, toilets and is only a short walk to both The White House and the Hard Rock Cafe.
Example of the windows with wires

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