Washington Monument reopens to public for tours nearly 3 years after 2011 earthquake damage

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Washington Monument reopens to public for tours nearly 3 years after 2011 earthquake damage

WASHINGTON - The Washington Monument has reopened to the public, 33 months after an earthquake damaged the stone obelisk.

After a morning ceremony, the 555-foot (169-meter) stone monument that was once the tallest structure in the world reopened to visitors Monday afternoon.

In August 2011, the monument's white marble and mortar were cracked during an unusual 5.8-magnitude earthquake that sent visitors scrambling as debris fell. New exhibits have been installed, and visitors can once again ride an elevator to look out from the highest point in the nation's capital.

Tickets for the 130-year-old monument were available on a first-come, first-served basis Monday. After that, visitors must reserve tickets online, but they're already booked into June. The National Park Service is offering extended hours through the summer.

Organizations: National Park Service

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