Washington Monument, closed for 5 of the previous eight years, will reopen Sept. 19
WASHINGTON — Eight years after it was rattled by an earthquake and three years after it was closed for elevator and different repairs, the beleaguered Washington Monument will reopen Sept. 19, the Nationwide Park Service mentioned Friday.
Because the Aug. 23, 2011, earthquake, the nationwide landmark has been closed on and off for greater than 5 years. As historical past handed, the Park Service wrestled with issues, with an estimated three million individuals lacking the prospect to enter the construction.
With 600,000 guests a 12 months, the monument honors George Washington, a Revolutionary Warfare hero and the nation’s first president.
Earthquake injury to the inside and exterior of the 555-foot marble-and-granite construction pressured its closure for two-and-a-half years because it underwent repairs that price about $15 million.
The work was funded by the federal government and a $7.5 million donation from native businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein.
Then, between 2014, when it reopened after the earthquake, and 2016, the monument’s elevator broke down 24 occasions, usually stranding guests who rode it to the highest. The monument was closed once more in 2016.
With a $three million donation from Rubenstein, the Park Service started fixing the elevator and with authorities funds started work on a brand new safety screening facility.
Reopening was scheduled for final spring, however was delayed once more due to the presence of probably contaminated soil on the grounds.
The soil “is beneath the . . . floor and poses no danger to public well being,” spokesman Mike Litterst mentioned in an announcement on the time. But it surely doubtlessly affected the screening middle’s geothermal heating and cooling system, and needed to be addressed.
“The soil in query was doubtless launched within the 1880s because the monument was being accomplished,” he mentioned
One of many tallest free-standing masonry buildings on this planet, the monument can also be maybe probably the most acknowledged of American buildings.
The monument’s cornerstone was laid July four, 1848, at a ceremony attended by President James Ok. Polk and Rep. Abraham Lincoln. Work was halted from 1858 to 1878 due to an absence of funds.
In December 1884, a three,300-pound marble capstone was positioned atop the monument and capped with a pyramid of aluminum.
The next February 21, on a sunny, frigid day, the monument was devoted.
Even then, it was simply the newest downside with a website that has had a troubled historical past.
The unique website, which was imagined to be on a north-south line with the White Home and an east-west line with the Capitol, needed to be moved as a result of it was on unstable floor close to the financial institution of the Potomac River, in accordance with a research by the Military Corps of Engineers.
Thus, the present website is about 370 ft east of the White Home axis and 123 ft south of the Capitol axis, the Corps mentioned.
Later, the monument basis needed to be bolstered for concern it might not maintain the load of the construction.
And in 1887, a pond referred to as Babcock Lake simply north of the monument was stuffed in as a result of it was seen as a risk to the soundness of the monument.