The Washington Monument closed shortly after an earthquake struck Virginia, and rattled through the Northeast, in 2011. While the earthquake was relatively minor, it compromised the structural integrity of a monument that has stood (parts of it anyway) since 1848. Cracks were found at the very top, and throughout the internal structure, resulting in a desperate need for an investigation, and ultimately a restoration. Scaffolding was constructed on all four sides, creating what likes like an exoskeleton, for the second time in the monument’s history. A similar structure was erected in 1999, when the monument went through an earlier restoration.
In the evenings, the monument would be fairly unseeable, as the outer walls of scaffolding are covered in dark paper. Therefore, lights were added to illuminate it. What has resulted is an unmistakeable glowing tower in the center of Washington, DC’s National Mall. Some have complained, but many marvel at its beauty. I join the latter as this is only temporary.