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Washington Monument to reopen May 12

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The Washington Monument will reopen to visitors on May 12, more than two-and-a-half years after an earthquake damaged the historic structure, the National Park Service said this week.

The monument, which was completed in 1884, has been closed since Aug. 23, 2011, when it was damaged during a 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein donated $7.5 million via the Trust for the National Mall to help cover the costs of the monument’s restoration. That matched the level of funding Congress set aside for the project.

“We are delighted to be in the homestretch with the repairs to the Washington Monument almost complete, and we look forward to the re-opening on May 12 so we can once again welcome visitors to this iconic monument to our nation’s first President,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a statement.

As part of the repair process, crews fixed more than 150 cracks.

Between May 12 and the end of the summer, the monument will be open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Tickets for tours starting May 13 go on sale at 10 a.m. on April 16.

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