Sunday, May 19, 2013
Federal News Radio
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Big changes continue at the local place known as "America's Front Yard" and, in some spots, it's about to get more visible.
"The National Mall really just needs help, and that's what the Trust for the National Mall is doing," says Trust President Caroline Cunningham.
She spoke during a bus tour of neglected Mall sites, including the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Construction of the new pool with recirculating water is on schedule for completion in spring of next year.
"We have been trying to do this since they built this pool in 1924," says Stephen Lorenzetti with the National Park Service.
Work began on the pool last year and has mainly been underground, but visitors will notice work move above ground in the next two months.
"We're also going to use river water to fill the reflecting pool," says Lorenzetti. "We're building a tunnel to the river."
Meanwhile, a design competition is underway to re-imagine three spaces on the Mall. One of them is Union Square, near the west front of the Capitol Building. The area includes the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, which is a group of three bronze and marble statues.
The statues have turned green and need cleaning, plus there are other problems.
"People have come and taken parts of the memorials off" like the bayonets, says Cunningham.
Union Square also includes a reflecting pool, which Cunningham hopes can be made more inviting and useful to visitors.
"So people can cool off in the summer, and perhaps -- I don't know what the designers are going to come up with -- but maybe ice skate in the winter."
The winners of the design competition are scheduled to be announced on May 3, 2012. Cunningham hopes the Union Square project can be finished by 2016 when the National Park Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
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The National Mall is in a state of disrepair.
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