Wanna take a socially-distant elevator ride to the top of the Washington Monument? Now you can!
A central installation in the National Mall, the Washington Monument has been closed to the public for six months amidst pandemic conditions. The Monument will reopen in a limited capacity on Thursday, October 1, says the National Park Service.
For anyone who has gone anywhere or done anything in the last few months, the health precautions taken at the Monument will be familiar. Visitors must wear masks and will be limited to no more than eight per elevator ride. Time at the observation platform for each group will be limited to 10 minutes.
The Washington Monument will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, but you'll need to book your tickets online only (no walk-ins will be allowed, like before). Another change: A $1.50 non-refundable reservation fee will be assessed for each four visitors (admission used to be free). The monument will close daily from 1 to 2 p.m. for disinfecting.
Visitors will need to book tickets a day in advance on the Recreation.gov website.
Let's Hope It Stays Open
For the past 10 years or so, the Washington Monument has had a rough go. An earthquake in 2011 cracked its marble, which took $15 million and two years to repair. The Monument closed again in 2016 to update the security and change out the elevator. It had just reopened in September 2019 before 2020's pandemic woes rolled in to close it again.
Not to mention that one time with Spider-Man. Image from "Spider-Man: Homecoming," image courtesy IMDb.
And that's to say nothing of the many numerous shutdowns and evacuations all along that history. It's hard work being the tallest monumental column in the world. And while the changes to its operation might be a little annoying for visitors, I'm glad that such a central part of D.C. is open to the public again.
Will you be visiting the reopened Washington Monument? Any thoughts on the reopening? Leave a comment!