Washington Monument Reopens In Style After Nearly 3 Years (photos)
The Washington Monument, long a symbol of the U.S. Capital, was reopened with fanfare on Monday May 12, 2014 almost three years after closing to repair the damage from an earthquake in August of 2011. The 130 year old, 555-foot-high marble and granite obelisk is the tallest stone structure in the world, and the tallest edifice in the city. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and philanthropist David Rubinstein, who paid half the $15 million cost of the repairs, joined with other dignitaries to cut the ribbon officially reopening the monument to visitors. Long time NBC “Today Show” weatherman Al Roker served as master of ceremonies. Singer Candice Glover, the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band, the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the Boys & Girls Choristers of the Washington National Cathedral provided the entertainment.
Public tours of the Monument resumed right after the ceremony. Before the closure, the Monument was drawing 700,000 tourists a year. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 each morning at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street between Madison and Jefferson drives. The National Park Service is offering extended hours to visit the monument beginning Tuesday through the summer from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
View our photos of the reopening ceremonies by clicking on the photo icons below.