No, it’s not the Eiffel Tower, and no, you probably can’t get a decent slice of pizza to eat while you gaze at it. Nevertheless, starting tonight, DC gets its very own light show to brag about when the scaffolding currently covering the Washington Monument while the structure’s earthquake damage is repaired is illuminated this evening at 8:30—hopefully making the monument appear more aesthetically pleasing and less like it’s swaddled in a thousand giant Band-Aids.
The illumination isn’t a new idea—it was orchestrated by architect Michael Graves in 1998 when the monument was last renovated (which you can read about in this piece). While it was originally slated for June, presumably timed to coincide with the Fourth of July fireworks, the inaugural lighting will finally take place tonight, with help from philanthropist David Rubenstein, who donated half the money to fund the monument’s repairs. The monument will be lit at dusk by 488 lamps each night until the renovations are complete, hopefully in spring 2014, by which time there should be enough pictures of it on Instagram to bore even the most ardent Washingtonian to tears.