On August 23, 2011 my area experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. One of the side effects of Mother Nature’s wrath was serious stonewall damage to the Washington Monument, which stands tall at 555 feet in the center of the National Mall. The National Park Service awarded a contract in September of 2012 for restoration to begin. The repairs include sealing cracks, repointing the mortar and strengthening weak spots. Scaffolding started going up around the structure at the beginning of March this year and took until the end of April to build! The monument is a very prominent landmark in DC and it looked odd at first with the scaffolding around it in small sections, but now that it’s stacked to the top of the structure it looks pretty cool — like a metal cast. For safety reasons, the monument is closed while it’s under repair, which they expect will take more than a year to complete.