Our Long 3-Year Wait Is Over: The Washington Monument Reopens

America’s best-known obelisk reopens to the public on Thursday after more than three years of construction on a new security facility and renovations to its elevator system. The Washington Monument will again welcome visitors up to its observation deck, where, from more than 500 feet in the air, visitors can see national landmarks including the U.S. Capitol, Washington National Cathedral, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. But first, you have to go through security. National Park Service rangers stand outside the newly constructed screening facility. Mhari Shaw / NPR Operating a post-Sept. 11 monument The Washington Monument closed in 2016, in part so the National Park Service could build an enhanced security screening facility. The new blast-proof building made of glass and steel replaces a temporary security structure that was built in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Visitors and their belongings will first pass through