The structure is the first architectural monument honoring George Washington. However, although construction began on this monument before the monument in Maryland's Washington Monument State Park was built, this one was not completed until 1829, two years after the other was completed.
The 178 foot doric column holds a ground-floor museum offering information about Washington as well as construction of the monument.
There are 228 steps to the top of the monument.
The monument is mentioned in Moby Dick by Herman Melville, "Great Washington, too, stands high aloft on his towering main-mast in Baltimore, and like one of Hercules' pillars, his column marks that point of human grandeur beyond which few mortals will go."
In the Food Network's show "Ace of Cakes," the star, Duff, does the ceremonial lighting of the Monument. He was quoted in saying that Baltimore's monument was first, better, cooler, and lights up.