Monday, November 18, 2013

Stripping the Washington Monument

For those who might have forgotten, we had an earthquake and hurricane during the same week a couple of years ago.  While we’ve weathered many hurricanes over the years, earthquakes were a new experience around here.

Washington icons including the Washington National Cathedral and the Washington Monument both suffered serious damage.  Countless smaller structures also were damaged.

Thanks in large part to a private donation, the WM is nearly completely repaired and may reopen in the Spring.  Interior repairs are still going on, but the outer, sandstone and mortar repairs are finished.

It wasn’t that long ago that routine maintenance necessitated scaffolding surrounding the WM.  An artist installed light blue fabric and lighting that looked especially beautiful at night.  The same effect was repeated this time around and is now being dismantled.

Last week I was concerned about the scaffolding workers because the weather was cold and very windy.  [Can’t be easy working under those conditions, 500 feet in the air and on a hill that is popular with kite-fliers.]  However, today is brilliantly sunny and 70 degrees.  I'd give anything to be up there with them -- the view would be extraordinary!

P.S.  Congress was very lucky that the enormous cast iron dome on the Capitol didn’t collapse during the quake.  Thankfully, the slaves who built the structure did an excellent job.  Yes, slave-labor built many Washington landmarks.

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