Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Reopens After Recovery Work
After nearly two years of renovation and rehabilitation, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reopened at the end of August.
Popular among the approximately 25 million people who visit the National Mall each year, the Reflecting Pool has also been the site of historic events, perhaps most notably involving civil rights. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech while overlooking the Reflecting Pool in 1963. And the famed contralto Marian Anderson, barred from singing at Constitution Hall in 1939 because she was African-American, held a widely attended outdoor concert on Easter Sunday that year by the Reflecting Pool.
Built in the 1920s, the pool had begun to crack and leak – at one point losing as many as 500,000 gallons of water a week. Lacking a circulation system, the 6.75-million-gallon pool also required draining, cleaning, and refilling twice every year.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) used $34 million of Recovery funding to repair and upgrade the Reflecting Pool and also install a circulation system. DOI officials note that the 580 granite stones that had been originally placed along the edges of the pool in the 1920s were catalogued and put back into place.