City Desk

A Thousand Points About Lights

Washington Monument Lit: Ready-Made Twitter Reactions

The scaffolding on the Washington Monument got a makeover this week. Now swathed in blue fabric and 488 lamps, it will be lit up each night until repairs from the August 2011 earthquake are complete.

The idea to dress up the monument as it’s under construction nothing new: The illuminated blue “dress” is based on a design by Michael Graves used in 1999, when the monument was also undergoing repairs. Since the project’s design is recycled from a decade ago, why not use a recycled reaction too? Here are some 140-character-ready, pre-crafted, vintage phrases to describe the monument’s temporary look; just copy and paste into your Twitter feed and look smart.

  • The architect’s sense of both fun and form was dramatically demonstrated in the fabric sheathing he designed to decorate the scaffolding. (Benjamin Forgey, Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2000)
  • I think it’s hideous. I’m really disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing it, and you can’t see anything. (Katie Edwards, PBS, March 2, 1999)
  • It gives the monument a new solidity, although it loses that wonderful slim, spearlike effect of the structure itself. (Michael Kernan, Smithsonian Magazine, June 1999)
  • The shimmering pale blue nylon-and-aluminum scaffolding made the landmark look more like a sculpture than a renovation. (David Brauer, Chicago Tribune, April 5, 2000)
  • At night, the monument looks faceted, like diamonds. There’s a bit of Eiffel Tower lacework about it. (Susan Stamberg, Morning Edition, NPR, March 3, 1999)
  • The scaffolding is a monument in its own right. (Gabriel Escobar, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 1998)
  • A Tinker Toy-assembly of shimmering aluminum scaffolding draped with translucent blue polyester mesh. (Elsa C. Arnett, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 27, 1999)
  • It’s like a woman with a new outfit ... I think she has got a lot of compliments, but over time she will be willing to go back to the old one. (Capitol Hill Activist Richard Wolf to the Washington Times, Nov. 22, 1999)

Photo by jetsonphoto via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

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  • Arlingtron

    I enjoyed the glass block look this had ten years ago. I would have thought that with new LED technology that type of light would grace the scaffolding. With programmable multi-color LEDs the display would have had interesting possibilities. You could even show sponsored messages to help fund the repairs.