Washington Monument Closed By Quake Damage
August 25, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) — The Washington Monument will remain closed while repairs are made following Tuesday’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake, the U.S. National Park Service said.
The monument was closed Tuesday following the quake and the National Park Service said an inspection Wednesday uncovered additional cracks in the pyramidion, or uppermost section of the structure.
Officials said NPS structural engineers, historical architects, and engineers with expertise in earthquake engineering will conduct detailed assessments.
“The Washington Monument is one of America’s most important landmarks and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that it is restored completely and correctly,” Robert A. Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, said in a statement.
Washington National Cathedral was also damaged in the quake and will remain closed to the public at least through Saturday as engineers fully assess the damage.
“Because of the handcrafted nature of the Cathedral’s stonework, cost estimates for repairs are likely to be in the range of millions of dollars — none of which is believed to be covered by the Cathedral’s insurance,” officials said in a statement.
The central tower of the cathedral, sustained significant damage in Tuesday’s earthquake.
Three of four pinnacles on the central tower, as well as decorative elements on the Cathedral’s exterior, appear to be damaged. Cracks have also appeared in the flying buttresses around the apse at the cathedral’s east end, officials said.