By Cailey Rizzo
July 30, 2019

The Washington Monument will reopen in August following a three-year renovation.

The inside of the 555-foot obelisk in D.C. will be accessible to the public for the first time since August 2016. The National Park Service has not yet released a specific reopening date or time.

Michel Suesse/EyeEm/Getty Images

The monument, erected in 1885 to honor the country’s first president, closed three years ago “due to the unreliability of the elevator control system,” according to the National Park System (NPS), who manages it.

Major damage to the monument came in August 2011 when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shuddered the earth and damaged the obelisk, causing about 150 cracks. The monument underwent about $15 million worth of repairs and reopened in 2014. But closed two years later when an elevator cable snapped.

This round of repairs included repairing and upgrading the elevator system as well as replacing the temporary screening building that was built following the 9/11 attacks. The new permanent security building is a glass and steel building that includes screening equipment, an office and waiting space for about 20 visitors at a time.

"The modernization of the monument's elevator is substantially complete, with just final testing and certification of the safety systems remaining," a representative for the monument told CNN Travel.

The monument was supposed to reopen earlier this year but the project was delayed “for mitigation of possibly contaminated soil in the construction area,” the NPS tweeted in April.

But just because the inside of the Washington Monument hasn’t been accessible does not mean the building has been dormant. Earlier this month, the National Air and Space Museum projected a video of the Saturn V rocket ship on the monument for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

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