Washington Monument could be closed until 2014 for earthquake repairs

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Last August, an extremely rare 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled Washington, D.C., causing the evacuation of government buildings and damaging historic landmarks including the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral.

Many national memorials were closed for post-earthquake inspections. One inspection found cracks in the Washington Monument, leading the structure to be closed for repairs. Tourists have previously been able to take an elevator to the top to see the view.

The repairs are estimated at $15 million.

Repairs are also under way on the Washington National Cathedral and reportedly could take more than a decade. A portion of one of the pinnacles that fell outward from the roof is on display outside of the building. The cathedral remains open for services and events. Cathedral repairs are estimated at more than $20 million.