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Baltimore’s Washington Monument Gets Makeover

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s own Washington Monument is in the midst of a multi-million dollar makeover.

Jessica Kartalija got a behind-the-scenes tour of the progress.

The monument has been closed to the public since 2010 after it was deemed unsafe.

At 200, the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon deserves a little sprucing up.

WJZ and the mayor took a little tour as contractors explained how water leaks have already weakened the structure by rusting metal support brackets and hollowing out mortar.

The monument is now covered in scaffolding encasing the monument as it undergoes renovations authorized by the General Assembly and efforted by the Mount Vernon Conservancy.

“To see it so carefully and lovingly restored makes me excited. I know this is going to take a long time but there’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel to the big reveal,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The $5.5 million they are spending to restore the monument is coming from the city, state and private donors.

Following a rare earthquake on the East Coast in 2011, a team of engineers toured the Washington Monument but fortunately found no structural damage.

There’s concern the annual monument lighting could be put on hold.

“My hope is they do one of those big building wraps and make it really funky for the holidays. We’ll see; I am keeping my fingers crossed,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Construction will continue through this year. The monument will hopefully open in time for its bicentennial on Independence Day, 2015. The monument was once one of Baltimore’s biggest tourist attractions.

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