Washington Monument Reopens

The Washington Monument is open to visitors again after being closed for four months while workers erected a metal and fabric web of scaffolding around it.

Now work begins on fixing the monument's aging masonry joints, repairing cracked and chipped stones, and cleaning the entire exterior surface of 36,000 stones.

A crowd of about 75 people braved below-freezing temperatures and winds gusting at more than 20 mph to wait in line to enjoy the view of the city on Monday.

The scaffolding, designed by architect Michael Graves, combines blue outlining fabric and semitransparent netting. It allows the monument to remain visible throughout the restoration.

It is to be removed by the middle of next year.