Photos: Washington Monument reopens after 3 years

BY Ariel Min  May 12, 2014 at 6:17 PM EST
Photo by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHour

Photos of and from the observation deck of the Washington Monument by Ariel Min/PBS NewsHour

WASHINGTON — The scaffolding is gone and the elevator that glides up D.C.’s famous 555-foot marble obelisk is running again. After a 33-month renovation, the Washington Monument on Monday reopened to the public.

When a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the ground here in August 2011, it left enduring cracks and other damage inside and outside of the monument. It cost approximately $15 million to fully restore the 130-year-old memorial that honors George Washington.

The cracks are fixed, the damaged marble has been replaced and the National Parks Service also installed new exhibits, according to Carol Johnson, the NPS Public Affairs Officer.

“I hate to say it, but it was a monumental task.” Johnson said.

The media were invited to tour the monument on Saturday. Below are photos from the top of the monument:

Photo by Ariel Min

View of the White House and north D.C. from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

View of the White House and northeast D.C. from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

View of the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial and Northern Virginia from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

View of the Tidal Basin and Thomas Jefferson Memorial from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

Looking down eastward from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

View of the U.S. Capitol from the observation deck inside the Washington Monument.

Photo by Ariel Min

More than 150 cracks have been repaired since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake damaged the monument in August 2011.

Photo by Ariel Min

The National Parks Service has installed new exhibits inside the Washington Monument.