Watch The Washington Monument Recover From An Earthquake In 80 Seconds

Lauren Burgoon
What does it take to repair the world's largest stone building?

When a relatively rare earthquake rumbled through Washington, D.C., in 2011, the city escaped with only minor injuries to its people. The Washington Monument wasn't so lucky.

Two and a half years after the earthquake cracked it, the Washington Monument is finally ready to reopen to visitors Monday following a major repair job. This great time lapse video shows just what a big undertaking it was.

The Washington Monument is already, ahem, phallic and it got sheathed in scaffolding over the course of the two-year repair job. (One bonus for locals and tourists, the scaffolding also lit up the monument in a brand-new way.)

While you're checking out the video, don't forget your Washington Monument fun facts. Did you know:

  • The monument is the tallest all-stone structure in the world at 169.294 meters and was the tallest building in the world when it was completed.
  • Washington Monument construction started in 1848 through 1854, but funding dried up, leaving the monument as a 156-foot stump. It wasn't completed until 1884.
  • The long construction is evident just by looking at the monument: It has stones of three different colors because of the different quarries used.
  • The wall thickness ranges from 15 feet at the base to 18 inches at the top. 
  • The $1.4 million it cost back in the 1800s to build the Washington Monument would amount to about $36 million today.