August 24, 2011
Office of Communications News Release
Release Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bill Line, Toni Braxton 202-619-7174, Carol Johnson 202-245-4700 or Sgt. David Schlosser, U.S. Park Police, 202-425-4286
National Park Service Temporarily Closes Washington Monument; Reopens Jefferson, Lincoln Memorials
Washington, D.C. - The National Park Service (NPS) has temporarily closed the Washington Monument in order to properly evaluate the structure following today's earthquake. The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials were closed for a short period of time as a precaution, but reopened to the public as of about 7:20 p.m. There have been no injuries to any visitors.
The NPS has completed a secondary inspection of the Washington Monument. This inspection has revealed some cracking in the stones at the top of the Monument. The NPS will have structural engineers evaluate the cracks on Wednesday to determine the best way to repair the Monument before it is reopened. The Washington Monument grounds have been reopened except for an area about 100 feet outside of the plaza.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial remain open. The Old Post Office Tower will open on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
As always, safety remains the NPS' chief concern. The NPS will be evaluating all of the structures throughout the National Capital Region to determine structural integrity and to ensure visitor safety.