The Washington Monument is lit while undergoing repairs Monday, July 8, 2013 in Washington. The National Park Service will light the monument each night at dusk while it undergoes repairs from the 2011 earthquake. It is expected to reopen in spring of 2014.
While construction continues on the Washington Monument to repair the damage caused by the August 2011 earthquake, the National Park Service will be illuminating the scaffolding and scrim around the monument for the next year. The lighting was unveiled at a ceremony on the National Mall on July 8, 2013.
The monument is surrounded by six thousand pieces of scaffolding and 1.4 acres of fabric, known as "scrim." Some 500 lights line the scaffolding, creating an exaggerated version of the monument's stone and mortar design.
"The lighting of the Washington Monument, while it is under repair, is really a promise to the American people," said Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service. "It is a way of assuring them that we are taking care of the nation's most special places."
David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, was recognized at the ceremony for his philanthropic gift of $7.5 million to support the cost of repairing the monument.
To coincide with the monument's lighting, a camera from the top of the monument was turned on, offering a view from 555 feet above the city.
The National Park Service estimates the monument will reopen in Spring 2014.