After a three-year renovation project, to update the elevator system and improve security measures, the Washington Monument in Washington, DC is finally about to reopen. One of the country’s most iconic monuments will be back in business starting on Thursday, September 19, at 9:00 AM (until 5:00 PM). You will, however, notice some changes.
A new screening facility has been installed made of blast-proof steel and glass, where visitors must put their belongings through an X-ray machine — much like at an airport.
And if you’ve ridden the Washington Monument elevator before, you may be familiar with its mechanical issues, including frequent service interruptions and visitor evacuations. The old elevator has been replaced by a brand new one that should prevent anyone from having to go up or down the 900 steps to and from the observation deck at the top of the 555-foot marble obelisk. The ride in the new elevator is supposed to take only one minute and, from the top, you’ll be able to get a view almost 25 miles around the monument. It’ll only be a two-minute ride down.
Free same-day tickets for visits through October 18 are available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 AM. Starting on October 10 at 10:00 AM, you’ll be able to order free tickets online for tours, which will begin on October 19.