Some People Don't Want to Say Goodbye to the Washington Monument Scaffolding

There's a White House petition to keep it up.

Image
Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

At least one long national nightmare is almost over. This week, workers began dismantling the scaffolding on the Washington Monument, winding down a $15 million, two-year repair on the city skyline's most defining feature.

But for some, this isn't cause for celebration. It turns out the 500-ton scaffolding, identical to the one designed by architect Michael Graves for the last round of repairs 13 years ago, is beloved, at least by some.

Since July, 488 lamps illuminated the aluminum and scrim-covered obelisk. And a couple people really, officially don't want it to go. A four-day-old We the People petition on the White House website asks the Obama administration to "make the Washington Monument's beautiful night-time lights permanent," arguing that they "only increase the majesty and power" of the monument.

Fair enough.

But these eager petitioners have a ways to go. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were just 13 signatures (maybe significantly, only five from people who live in the D.C. area). Just 99,987 more! 

Workers remove scaffolding at the highest point of the Washington Monument in Washington, November 12, 2013 (Reuters/Gary Cameron).

Luckily, scaffolding enthusiasts can take heart. They'll just need to turn their eyes a half mile down the Mall, where another two-year restoration project began this month on the dome of the U.S. Capitol. It doesn't have quite the sleekness of the Washington Monument scaffolding, but there's certainly majesty, and power, and a whole lot of metaphor for the crumbling of our national government.

Courtesy Architect of the Capitol.

Top Image: Visitors lie on the grass beneath the newly-lit Washington Monument in Washington, July 8, 2013 (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).

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