'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: Washington Monument

ABC's John Donvan goes behind the scenes of the repairs of the Washington Monument as it reopens this week.
3:13 | 05/11/14

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Transcript for 'This Week' Sunday Spotlight: Washington Monument
Now our "Sunday spotlight" shining on one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Check out this incredible time-lapsed video capturing the Washington monument during 13 months of repairs. And starting tomorrow, it is finally back open. ABC's John donvan shows us what we have been missing. Reporter: Ever notice how nobody calls it a tower? But it towers. And has for 130 years. Washington's midpoint opinion and its highest point. 555 feet. Which actually has just come out of its bandages. It looked like this for much of the past three years. Remember this. The earthquake centered in Virginia has been felt all up and down the eastern corridor. Reporter: It was magnitude 5.8. It wounded the Washington monument. 150 cracks found. It had to be closed. It's usual 700,000 visitors a year, told sorry. Flashback. The monument has faced difficulty before. Most famously getting stuck at the halfway point in construction for 20 years when the money, entirely private donations, ran out. It finally got finished 130 years ago with slightly different colored stone where the work started again when congress chipped in money. And despite its demise in many movies -- "Mars attacks." "Independence day." "Olympus has fallen." It's stood rock solid. Or actually, not so rock solid. Take a ride upstairs. Yes, there's an elevator in there. Meet John Jarvis and find out that -- It is a dry stack stone structure. I mean, there's no real mortar between the stones. Reporter: Right. That's right. The stones just rest on top of each other. No glue holding them together. Which might have been a good thing when the quake hit because it -- Actually allowed it to absorb the energy of the earthquake. Reporter: Still, 150 cracks at this height. Historic structure. A $15 million repair bill. Half of which came from David Rubenstein. I just think I got very lucky in my life and I want to give back. Reporter: Thanks to that impulse, the public gets to go back inside tomorrow. We announced we were going to open in a week. We opened up for tickets. We did 16,000 tickets in the first 15 minutes. Reporter: Wow, the monument sold out. All for a pile of stones not even stuck together. They stack up beautifully. They do tower. For "This week" John donvan, ABC news, Washington. Can't wait to get back in there. Thanks, John. Now we honor our fellow Americans who serve and sacrifice. This week, the Pentagon announced the death of one soldier supporting operations in Afghanistan. That's all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Check out "World news" with David Muir tonight. To all the moms out there, happy, happy mother's day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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