With the scaffolding off the Washington Monument and the damage from the August 2011 earthquake repaired, the National Park Service is now taking reservations for tours of the 555-foot obelisk beginning next month.
The monument suffered extensive internal and external damage from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake, with much of the fracturing occurring near its peak. The $15 million cost to repair the monument was split between the federal government and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein.
There will be a reopening ceremony on May 12, and tours will begin the following day. Tickets are officially free, but come with a $1.50 “service charge” if they are booked online. Admission is also available on a first-come, first-serve, and actually free-of-charge basis at the adjacent Washington Monument Lodge, but tours get booked up fast. Tickets are still available for the first few days after the monument reopens, but the first weekend back is already sold out.