Government surveyors have revised the height of the Washington Monument and will announce the official height on Monday.
The new measurement puts the obelisk’s height at 554 feet, 7 and 11/32 inches, as measured from the floor of the main entrance to the top. Since the monument’s completion in 1884, however, the official height has been recorded as 555 feet, 5 and 1/8 inches.
The size change comes from measuring from a different base point. Fox News writes “Dru Smith, chief geodesist with the National Geodetic Survey, tells the Associated Press that modern international standards from the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat call for a different base point than what was likely used in the 1880s.”
“The building didn’t change height because of anything; it is just where you start from,” Smith said.
The only physical change in the building was a small amount at the top that had eroded over time, probably from lightening strikes.
“Well, this time around, we took very careful measurements,” Smith said. “We were able to determine about 3/8 of an inch had been melted off from the very top.”
The new survey results will allow the National Geodetic Survey and National Park Service to have a baseline for tracking any future changes of the monument.