The Washington Monument likely will remain closed for the next two years or more while repairs to its elevators are completed, the Park Service in charge of the monument said Friday. A project to modernize the Washington Monument’s elevator, estimated to cost $2 million to $3 million, will be paid for by businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein.
Rubenstein had already donated $7.5 million toward repairing the landmark after it was damaged in a 2011 earthquake. It was open for about two years after those repairs were completed before the problems with the elevators began. The monument shut down Aug. 17 when a cable broke and the elevator stopped between the 490-foot and 500-foot level. The marble obelisk dedicated in 1885 stands 555 feet tall.
When it is open, the 555-foot Washington Monument is entered by about 600,000 visitors every year