Utahns visiting Washington, D.C., will be able to see the Washington Monument without scaffolding this week in preparation for the monument's re-opening May 12.
The monument has been closed for 32 months after being damaged by an earthquake. The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall will host a re-opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Public tours will begin at 1 p.m., with tickets 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, http://www.recreation.gov, starting April 16 at 10 a.m.
Philanthropist David Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to the monument's restoration, matching the public funds allocated by Congress.
The monument will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. until the end of the summer.
An Aug. 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake forced the National Park Service to repair more than 150 cracks in the historic structure.