WASHINGTON (AP) — The towering symbol that honors the nation’s first president reopened to the public Monday, nearly three years after an earthquake cracked and chipped the 130-year-old stone obelisk.
After fences were dismantled and construction equipment removed, the Washington Monument drew a cross section of Americans who wanted to be among to first visit the newly reopened historic site. A Mormon missionary, a new graduate from Howard University, two health care workers from Georgia and others were among those gathered Monday. For many of them, it was their first chance to see the 555-foot-tall monument’s interior and the nation’s capital from its highest point.
“I’ve seen pictures of it, but I’ve never been here to see it,” said Brandon Hillock, 22, from near Salt Lake City, visiting after a two-year Mormon mission in Virginia. “It’s really cool to come here and experience what this is all about and the history behind it.”
Engineers have spent nearly 1,000 days conducting an extensive analysis and restoration of what was once the tallest structure in the world. A 5.8-magnitude quake in August 2011 caused widespread damage. It shook some stones loose and caused more than 150 cracks. From massive scaffolding built around the monument after the quake, engineers and stone masons made repairs stone by stone.
Now, new exhibits have been installed at the top, and visitors can once again ride an elevator to look out over the National Mall. The National Park Service is offering extended hours through the summer for daytime and evening visits. Tickets can be reserved online, but they’re already booked into June.
Some of the first visitors said they came to experience the monument’s historic symbolism, which dates back to its early construction before the Civil War and was later finished in 1884.
Kourtney Butler of Miami just graduated from Howard University, but the monument has been closed and under construction for most of her four years living in Washington.
“I wanted to get a chance to see it,” she said. “I really like the monuments and the national mall. I think I’ve been to all the Smithsonian museums and art exhibits. So it was the last one I hadn’t seen.”
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
REGISTER NOW for the 2014 Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion taking place August 28- September 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida! For booking information visit here.
(Photo Source: AP)
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
28 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 28
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 28
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 28
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 28
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 28
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 28
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 28
8. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
8 of 28
9. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
9 of 28
10. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
10 of 28
11 of 28
12. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
12 of 28
13. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
13 of 28
14. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
14 of 28
15. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
15 of 28
16. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
16 of 28
17. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
17 of 28
18. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
18 of 28
19. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
19 of 28
20 of 28
21. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
21 of 28
22. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
22 of 28
23. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
23 of 28
24. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
24 of 28
25. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
25 of 28
26. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
26 of 28
27. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
27 of 28
28. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
28 of 28