Washington Monument reopens after earthquake

The Armed Forces Color Guard presents the colors at the Washington Monument in Washington, Monday, May 12, 2014, during a ceremony to celebrate its re-opening. The monument, which sustained damage from an earthquake in August 2011, reopened to the public today. (AP Photo)
The Armed Forces Color Guard presents the colors at the Washington Monument in Washington, Monday, May 12, 2014, during a ceremony to celebrate its re-opening. The monument, which sustained damage from an earthquake in August 2011, reopened to the public today. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 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 are 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.

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