• Wilbur and Orville Wright: their names carved into the Wright Brothers Monument.

    Wright Brothers

    National Memorial North Carolina

National Park Service Begins Weekly Tours of the Wright Monument

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Date: June 26, 2008
Contact: Wright Brothers National Memorial, (252) 441-7430

Many Outer Banks visitors climb to the top of the Big Kill Devil Hill at Wright Brothers National Memorial for a closer look at the Wright Brothers Monument and for the spectacular view ocean-to-sound view. To be able to go up the tower itself, however, is a unique experience altogether!

This summer, for the first time in many years, visitors will be able to do just that by pre-registering for a special Monument to the Dream Tour on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. July 1 through Labor Day. This program is limited to 30 people and pre-registration is required. The pre-registration period for each Monument to the Dream Tour program starts at 9 a.m. the Saturday prior to the program and visitors may pre-register by calling (252) 441-7430 x230.

The climb up the Big Kill Devil Hill (90 feet) and to the top of the monument (60 feet/70 steps) is strenuous. Visitors with heart, respiratory or other medical conditions, or who have trouble climbing, should use their own discretion as to whether to pre-register for this program. Children attending the program must be at least 42" tall and capable of climbing all steps on their own. Children under 12 must be escorted by an adult.

Visitors who have pre-registered will enter the monument through the structure’s stainless steel and nickel-plated doors which are decorated with eight panels depicting man’s early attempts at mechanical flight. The first floor interior showcases special pink granite-lined walls and a black granite floor - only the first floor of the monument displays this color granite. The rest of the monument is made of white granite stone. Visitors will then climb a staircase of over 70 very narrow stone and iron steps to a small observation platform at the top of the tower. Due to the constricted space, only one-way traffic will be allowed up and down the stairwell. The climb and stay at the top is limited to 10 minutes with a three visitor per climb limit.

The monument was recently restored by the First Flight Foundation, a partner organization of the National Park Service at Wright Brothers National Memorial.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

First passenger flight 1908, credit: Library of Congress

The world’s first passenger flight took place at Kitty Hawk on May 14, 1908. Wilbur Wright flew the plane and Charles Furnas, a mechanic, was the passenger. Orville and Furnas then made a flight together of over 2 miles.