For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Brian Hall, NPS, 202-245-4480
Mike Litterst, NPS, 202-513-0354
Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2014) – The National Park Service (NPS) announced that the remaining scaffolding surrounding the Washington Monument will begin to come down this week in preparation for the Monument’s re-opening on May 12 after a 32-month closure due to damage from an earthquake. The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall will host a re-opening ceremony at 10 a.m. that morning; details of the ceremony will be forthcoming.
Public tours of the Monument on the day of the reopening, May 12, will begin at 1:00 p.m. The tickets will be available on a first come-first served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. that day at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street, between Madison and Jefferson Drives. Tickets for tours on May 13 and all future dates will be available on the NPS reservation page, www.recreation.gov, starting on April 16, at 10 a.m.
“We are delighted to be in the homestretch with the repairs to the Washington Monument almost complete, and we look forward to the re-opening on May 12 so we can once again welcome visitors to this iconic monument to our nation’s first President,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are grateful for David Rubenstein’s generous donation that funded half of the $15 million repair bill. David’s support of the national parks and the work of the National Park Service sets a high standard for park philanthropy nationwide and is appreciated by every visitor who will learn something about President Washington or simply enjoy the view from the top.”
“The National Park Service has done a spectacular job of repairing the monument, and I hope as many people as possible will soon be able to see the unique view from the top,” said philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.
Mr. Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to the monument’s restoration via the Trust for the National Mall, matching the public funds allocated by Congress.
“We are grateful for Mr. Rubenstein’s generosity and the National Park Service’s diligent work. Thanks to this successful public-private partnership, visitors can once again experience the full grandeur and history of the National Mall,” said Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall.
Because of the closure of the Monument, the National Park Service will begin extended operating hours on May 12. The Monument will be open from 9a.m. until 10p.m. until the end of summer.
The Washington Monument has been closed since August 23, 2011, due to damage received in a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. It is now in the final stages of the restoration, which included repairs to more than 150 cracks in the structure.
About the National Park Service
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at: www.nps.gov.
About the Trust for the National Mall
The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, while providing new educational and volunteer opportunities that connect the park’s 25 million annual visitors to the Mall’s rich history. For more information on The Campaign for the National Mall, please visit www.nationalmall.org.