Park Service employees stand watch as visitor Roman Tanner, center, walks away with his Washington Monument ticket, which are distributed at on a first-come basis at the Washington Monument today ahead of a ceremony to celebrate its re-opening.
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WASHINGTON — The Washington Monument is reopening to the public, 33 months after an earthquake damaged the 130-year-old stone obelisk.
After a morning ceremony, the 555-foot stone monument that was once the tallest structure in the world will reopen to visitors later today.
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 are available on a first-come, first-served basis today. 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.