Washington Monument Reopening
May 12, 2014 Reopening Ceremony
The Washington Monument reopens to the public on May 12, 2014 with a reopening ceremony hosted by the National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Trust for the National Mall beginning at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are not required for admission to the reopening ceremony, however, visitors who wish to go inside the Washington Monument on the day of the ceremony must obtain first-come, first-served tickets. Tickets on the day of the ceremony will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Washington Monument Lodge (on 15th Street NW between Constitution and Independence Avenues) and tours will begin at 1:00 p.m.
Tickets, May 13, 2014 and Beyond... Reserve Yours Today!
Advance tickets are now available to reserve the date and time you wish to visit after May 13, 2014. Once the monument reopens, first-come, first-served tickets will be available each morning at the Washington Monument Lodge beginning at 8:30 a.m., but availability is not guaranteed.
Hours of Operation
Because of the lengthy closure of the monument, the National Park Service will extend summer operating hours. Beginning May 12, the Monument will open from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. through the end of summer.
The Washington Monument closed for repairs nearly three years ago due to a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23, 2011. Immediately after the earthquake, the National Park Service hired an engineering firm to conduct a thorough assessment of the monument. The engineers found no structural damage. Following the assessment, the National Park Service developed a comprehensive plan to repair minor cracking and mortar damage.
The park worked with its non-profit partner, Trust for the National Mall to obtain donations to help pay for the repairs. Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein donated $7.5 million toward this effort and Congress authorized an additional $7.5 million to cover the remaining costs for the restoration.
The Restoration Project
An earlier (1999-2000) restoration of the Washington Monument used a special soft or “sacrificial” mortar in the exterior joints of the monument to protect the integrity of the individual stone blocks in case of an earthquake. Because the earlier restoration used the soft mortar, the 2011 earthquake damaged relatively few external stones. The post-earthquake restoration included evaluation and repair of each damaged stone and used the best individual techniques and materials to repair them. Repair work also included replacement of the soft mortar “sacrificed” during the earthquake. For more information on the earthquake and the restoration project including pictures and videos, visit the Washington Monument Earthquake Information page.
In celebration of the reopening, the National Park Service installed new monument exhibits. Starting at the ground level, a welcoming message greets you. At the 490 foot exhibit level, you will learn about George Washington and the engineering, design and planning that went into the Washington Monument and the city of Washington, D.C. At the 500 foot level, window views on each side commandeer your experience, with additional exhibits that compare historical views with the landmarks visible today.