Before the closing, the monument averaged 3,000 visitors a day
Washington Monument reopens after four-month renovation
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The view from the top of the Washington Monument was again open to the public Friday after a four-month hiatus while the 555-foot (169-meter) obelisk underwent a $1.69-million interior restoration. The 110-year-old landmark got new heating, cooling, ventilation systems and a thorough cleaning, and saw its 39-year-old elevator replaced.
With the interior renovations complete -- including restoration of the 193 commemorative stones along the 897 stairs to the top -- the monument will be wrapped in scaffolding beginning this summer for repairs and cleaning of the exterior. The interior will remain open during the restoration work, with rededication of the monument to the country's first president scheduled for July 4, 2000. For the summer, the monument's hours are from 8 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. daily.
Friday's opening didn't go without a glitch however -- a temporary malfunction in the new elevator system trapped the monument's first visitors at the top for about 10 minutes. Engineers were on hand, however, and solved the problem. Three thousand visitors are expected to stop by the obelisk on its first day reopened.
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