Things to Do

Washington Monument Lights Up Monday Night

The scaffolding covering the monument will be lit tonight and remain illuminated until 2014.

The scaffolding-covered Washington Monument will be illuminated at sundown on Monday. Photograph by Flickr user Ron Cogswell.

No, it’s not the Eiffel Tower, and no, you probably can’t
get a decent slice of

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
While it was originally slated for

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.