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Washington Monument Reopening Monday with Morning Ceremony

NBC's Al Roker will serve as master of ceremonies. Public tours of the Washington Monument will begin at 1 p.m. Monday, after the reopening ceremony.

The 555-foot obelisk honoring America’s first president is reopening to the public for the first time since August 23, 2011. Patch archive photo
The 555-foot obelisk honoring America’s first president is reopening to the public for the first time since August 23, 2011. Patch archive photo
The Washington Monument, the iconic tribute to America's first president George Washington reopens today (Monday), with a special ceremony emceed by NBC's Al Roker

The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall announced that Roker will join Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, and philanthropist David Rubenstein, and National Mall & Memorial Parks Superintendent Bob Vogel at the celebration of the reopening of the Washington Monument.

Roker will serve as master of ceremonies, and will also be joined by American Idol Season 12 winner Candice Glover, the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps, the United States Navy Band, and the Boy and Girl Choristers of Washington National Cathedral Choir.

The official reopening event is open to the public and will take place Monday beginning at 10 a.m. on the southwest grounds of the Washington Monument. The 555-foot obelisk honoring America’s first president is reopening to the public for the first time since August 23, 2011, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake caused significant damage to the structure and forced its closure. 

“The construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 when private citizens raised money to build a memorial to honor our nation’s first president, and now it has been repaired thanks in part to the generosity of another private citizen, David Rubenstein, and the efforts of the Trust for the National Mall,” Secretary Jewell said. “This enduring spirit of public-private partnerships has made it possible for visitors to once again enjoy the Monument and its unmatched view of Washington, D.C.”

Public tours of the Washington Monument will begin at 1 pm on May 12 after the reopening ceremony, and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 am that morning at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street, between Madison and Jefferson Drives. TICKETS ARE REQUIRED... attendance at the ceremony does NOT grant access to the monument. 

“We’re looking forward to a great event and a meaningful day as we unveil the efforts of the past two and a half years,” said Bob Vogel, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. “The Washington Monument is looking spectacular – inside and out – and we can’t wait to share that with the public.”

Tickets (tours are free but you need a timed ticket) are available at the Washington Monument Lodge, on 15th Street, between Madison and Jefferson drives. Tour tickets are also available online at the National Park Service's reservation page.

The Washington Monument is open daily 7 days a week except for July 4 and Dec. 25. Summer hours are from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with the last tour starting at 9:30 p.m. until Labor Day. 

Visitors must be on-site for this time to ensure they are able to get on the elevator for the tour (last elevator leaves at 9:30 p.m.). 

After Labor Day, hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last tour starting at 4:30 p.m. Visitors must be on-site for this time to ensure they are able to get on the elevator for the tour (last elevator leaves at 4:30 p.m.). 

The following items are restricted within the Washington Monument and there is no storage facility available: 
  • No Animals (except certified guide dogs)
  • No Suitcases or Large Backpacks
  • No Guns or Knives
  • No Strollers
  • No Food or Drink, except bottled water or baby formula in clear plastic containers.
  • No Mace or Aerosol Cans

Let the rangers on site know if you have any medical conditions (i.e. pacemakers) that require special attention at the security screening facility. The monument is fully accessible and wheelchairs are available upon request.

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