If you were hoping to get a glimpse of the nation's capital from the top of the city's most famed monument, you may have to wait until the springtime.
According to Dcist.com, the Washington Monument could be closed for the next nine months due to elevator issues, which has forced multiple closures of the 555-foot structure over the last two years.
On Wednesday D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton met with the U.S. National Parks Service (NPS) to address the monument's ongoing elevator problems that have closed the attraction this week. During the meeting Norton discovered a full investigation of the monument was needed, citing the fact that the lone elevator had not been updated in nearly 20 years. Restorations may take up to eight or nine months. However, during the process, NPS will be able to thoroughly address the monument’s other underlining deficiencies.
In a statement released one day before Norton's meeting with NPS, she said it was Congress’ fault the monument’s needs had not been properly addressed in such a long time because “a lack of funding probably delayed the replacement of the 20-year-old control panel.” However, the congresswomen noted that the structure's frequent closures may “discourage visits to the District and have an impact on the D.C. economy, considering that the Monument is the main draw for many of the millions of tourist who visit Washington each year.”
During Norton’s meeting with NPS, she said the monument’s elevator should have been investigated following the 2011 earthquake in D.C. that resulted in a three-year-long closure of the site.
“When an elevator seems to be in good shape, but is a one-of-a kind elevator that operates 13 hours per day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and eight hours per day thereafter, the elevator’s lifespan must be uniquely measured,” she said.
The Washington Monument stands at 555 feet and 5 1/8 inches high and was considered the world’s tallest man-made structure until the creation of the Eiffel Tower in Paris completed in 1889.