After being closed for nearly three years, the Washington Monument will finally reopen to the public in May. 

According to DCist, the National Park Service said the rest of the scaffolding will be removed this week in preparation for the official reopening ceremony, which will take place on May 12 at 10 a.m. In a press release, National Park Service director Jonathan B. Jarvis expressed gratitude for the donations that allowed the repairs to happen:

We are grateful for David Rubenstein’s generous donation that funded half of the $15 million repair bill. David’s support of the national parks and the work of the National Park Service sets a high standard for park philanthropy nationwide and is appreciated by every visitor who will learn something about President Washington or simply enjoy the view from the top.

As a treat to guests, the Monument will reopen with extended summer hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's been closed since the August 2011 earthquake left it with 150 cracks, and everyone from lifelong city residents to tourists have been eagerly waiting for the scaffolding to come down.

[via DCist]

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