On August 23, 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia sent tremors throughout eastern North America. This seismic activity affected a number of Washington, D.C. Landmarks, including the Washington Monument. National Park Service engineers and experts in historic preservation and earthquake engineering immediately assessed the physical impact in order to determine the best way to repair this national treasure and restore public access. Completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1884, the Washington Monument honors George Washington for his generalship in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) and for his later refusal to serve more than two terms as President of the United States (1789-1797). The Monument remains the world's tallest freestanding stone structure, having weathered several earthquakes, including one in 1897 with a magnitude of 5.9.
"Crack in the pyramidion on the west side of the Monument."
"Daylight appears where the mortar and historic joint filler once were."
"National Park Service personnel amidst fallen marble and mortar."
For Another Bird's Eye View: The National Park Service suggests a visit to the 270-foot observation level of the historic Old Post Office Tower, open daily, except December 25th. Located at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, the tower ranks third in height among Washington, D.C. buildings and offers sweeping views of the Nation's Capital.
[Map of the National Mall near the Washington Monument; Photo of the historic Old Post Office Tower.]
[Satellite view of North America, mapping the earthquake's shock waves - emanating from near Mineral, Virginia and Washington, D.C. to Toronto, Ontario and Atlanta Georgia. ]
[Photo credits:] Background image: www.mapsof.net; stone crack, U.S. Park Police Aviation Unit; all others, NPS.