Trust for the National Mall Receives Large Gift to Help Reconstruct Constitution Gardens

Rehabilitated Space Will Better Serve Mall’s 25 Million Annual Visitors

Trust for the National Mall

Press Contact:
Kristine Fitton

202-407-9412

KFitton@nationalmall.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 15, 2014) — The Trust for the National Mall, the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, today announced that the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to the Campaign for the National Mall in support of the Trust’s Constitution Gardens restoration project.

“The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s generous contribution will help the Trust begin to rehabilitate an important and under-utilized landscape that sits between the National Mall’s most heavily-trafficked memorials,” said Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall. “We are thrilled by the growing number of corporations, foundations and individuals who are supporting the Campaign for the National Mall.”

Situated between the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial just north of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Constitution Gardens was dedicated in 1976 as part of the Nation’s Bicentennial, but now lies in a state of disrepair. As one of the major projects included in the National Mall Plan, Constitution Gardens and the historic 178-year-old Lockkeeper’s House, the oldest remaining structure on the National Mall, will benefit directly from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s gift. 

Once finished, the 36-acre space will become the standard in sustainability for green urban spaces and parks across the nation. Using innovative materials and technologies, Constitution Gardens will be a more accessible and ecologically sound landscape, offering new uses in all seasons to the community and the 25 million visitors who come to the National Mall each year.

In 2012, a nationally juried design competition selected winning plans from Rogers Marvel Architects & Peter Walker and Partners to restore Constitution Gardens. The winning design for Constitution Gardens will completely remediate the site, featuring a pavilion that will serve as a threshold to the lake and will frame the gardens with terraces. The redesigned gardens will also feature a restaurant, model boating, ice-skating in winter and a performance space.

“Our Foundation is proud to be a member of the Campaign for the National Mall Cabinet and pleased to be able to award a grant for the restoration of such an important national treasure,” said Lauren Dachs, president of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. “We believe Constitution Gardens will be a model for sustainability and enrich the lives of those who come to understand and share the extraordinary view of the American democratic experience represented on the National Mall.”

Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., a dedicated philanthropist and business leader, created the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 1957. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, the Foundation has a primary focus on projects that advance a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California.

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About the Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, while providing new educational and volunteer opportunities that connect the park’s 25 million annual visitors to the Mall’s rich history. For more information on The Campaign for the National Mall, please visit www.nationalmall.org.

About the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation is dedicated to increasing the number of well-educated children and youth with strong values and a commitment to an ethic of civic responsibility; and also advancing the management, stewardship and conservation of California’s water and land resources. For more information, please visit www.sdbjrfoundation.org.