Friday, August 26, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 2050


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) It seems many things in our Nation's Capital, besides the government, is in need of repair these days.  Work on the Capitol Dome and Rotunda has been underway for sometime and the Lee Mansion at Arlington is soon to undergo restoration.  The D.C. Metro system has also had extensive repair work underway this summer.

Now it seems the Washington Monument* will have to be shut down for a nine month period to renovate the elevator that carries visitors to the top.  This elevator, the Associated Press reports, "has broken down frequently over the past two years."

WTOP quotes Gay Vietzke, Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, as saying...

"We are finding ourselves at the end of the life of this system.  We...have to modernize..."

After the 2011 earthquake damaged the structure, the Monument was shut down for almost three years.  Although $15 million was spent on repairs, the elevator was not included.

The elevator gets extensive work operating thirteen hours each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day and eight hours a day from Labor Day to Memorial Day.  The maximum operational life of the elevator is estimated to be 25 years.

AP reports the decision to shut down the elevator came after discovery of a broken cable last week while WTOP adds that three employees were trapped inside the elevator for a time. 

The National Park Service estimates that the restoration project will cost as much as $3 million and their hope is to complete the project before next year's tourist season begins.

*The Washington Monument, built to honor the 1st POTUS, is located at 2 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C.  At a height of 555 feet it is the tallest structure in the District.  The WM's cornerstone, which included a portrait of GW, newspapers, coins & a copy of the US Constitution,  was laid on July 4, 1848. The WM opened on October 9, 1888.


"Five Things You Might Not Know About the Washington Monument," by Elizabeth Nix, October 9, 2913,

"Washington Monument elevator needs renovation," The Associated Press, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 25, 2016,

"Washington Monument to be closed until September," by Susan Beth Hensley and Kristi King," WTOP, August 24, 2016,

Washington Monument at Night
Photo by John White (2016)