July 10th, 2013 by Jacqui Blanton

A 'Face-Lift' for the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

While landmarks are beautiful to look at, sometimes they need a little ‘readjusting’ or what many would call a ‘face-lift.’ It took two years of reconstructing, but the historic landmark finally reopened to the public on August 31, 2012.

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool has been home to many memorable occasions—such as Marian Anderson singing on the steps, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and President Obama’s inauguration. The original structure was designed by Henry Bacon and dedicated in 1922. It measured 168 feet wide by 2,029 feet long and took more than 6 million gallons of water to fill it. Because Washington, D.C., is built on a landfill, the weight caused the pool to slowly sink almost an entire foot since it was originally built.

The ‘new’ pool now contains 3 million pounds of rebar, 350,000 square feet of wire mesh, 14,300 linear feet of pipe, and 2,130 piling to help prevent it from sinking again. Despite the remodel, the pool still retains some of its former self—the same footprint and the original granite coping stones that lined its circumference. They were even cataloged so they could be put back in the same place. Same history, but new face. If you haven’t been able to see it, it is definitely a spot to put on your bucket list.