September 19 2019 is the date that the iconic 555 ft high obelisk that is the Washington Monument will reopen to the public. Operated by the National Park Service tickets are issued on a first come first served basis from the Monument Lodge.
Hours of operation are 09.00 – 17.00 daily except for 4 July and Christmas. If you book in advance it will cost $1.50 per ticket and free otherwise.
The monument was closed to the public after an earthquake tremor in August 2011 left it damaged and cracked. Actually I was in Washington on that day, 23 August on our way to Dulles. We learnt of the quake at the airport when checking in because earlier Dulles had been evacuated and had only just reopened after checks to the building and runways. To be honest we never felt it.
The newly modernised lifts whisk you to the top in under 70 seconds to 500ft. There is a museum down some stairs at 490ft.
I have been up to the viewing windows a couple of times and there are some fantastic viewing opportunities if you are patient to wait for the lines at each side. We actually saw the Presidential helicopters on the lawn and a row of staff waiting for their departure.
There used to be a ranger talk about the 190 memorial stones carved on the inside of the monument walls. I don’t know if these will resume when it reopens.
Apparently they stopped visitors walking up the 898 steps way back in 1971 and then stopped anyone unaccompanied walking down from 1976.
The best photo I think I ever took was from within the circle of American Flags towards the Lincoln Memorial with a setting sun.
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